Biological Oceanography / Marine Chemistry

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Biological Oceanography

Marine Chemistry

GP130, GP231, ES130 and ES230
3-4 credit units
Stanford University, Spring 2006

GES159, GES259, ES159 and ES259
3-4 credit units
Stanford University, Spring 2006

Prof. Kevin Arrigo
Office: Mitchell Earth Sciences Building, Room 355
Phone: (650) 723-3599
E-mail: arrigo@
Office Hours: By appointment. Please give me a call at my office or contact me via email to make sure I'll be in my office.
Interdisciplinary look at how oceanic environments control the form and function of marine life. Topics include: distributions of planktonic production and abundance, marine habitats, nutrient cycling and human impacts on ocean biology. Required for Earth Systems students in the Oceans track.
Class Time and Location
Lectures: Tue and Thu 1:15-2:05pm, Mitchell Room 372
Group Projects: Tue and Thu 2:15-3:05, Mitchell A65 (sub-basement)
Teaching Assistant
Benjamin Saenz,
Office: Mitchell Building, Room A67
Office Hours: By appointment, e-mail to schedule a time
Required Reading
The required text book is "Biological Oceanography, An Introduction" by Carol M. Lalli and Timothy R. Parsons. In addition, supplemental handouts will be distributed in class.
Lecture reading assignments will be posted on the class web site and you are required to read them before each class; discussion in class will be based on these readings. By 10:00 PM the night before each lecture, you must submit the answers to two questions about those readings. See "Requirements" below for details.
Dr. Adina Paytan
Office: Geocorner, Building 320, Room 207
Phone: (650) 724-4073
E-mail: apaytan@
Office Hours: By appointment. Please give me a call at my office or contact me via email to make sure I'll be in my office.
The oceans are in interactive contact with the atmosphere, biosphere and lithosphere and virtually all elements pass through the ocean at some point in their cycles. In this class we will learn about the first-order processes that take place within the sea and affect its chemistry. What controls the distribution of chemical species in seawater and sediments? How long do different elements spend, on average, in the ocean? How do marine chemical processes interact with the biological, geological, and physical processes in the oceans? How can the chemistry of the oceans affect the future of planet Earth?
Class Time and Location
Lectures: Tue and Thu 11:00-11:50, Michell Room 372
Group Projects: Tue and Thu 2:15-3:05, Mitchell A65 (sub-basement)
Teaching Assistant
Scott Wankel,
Office Hours: By appointment, e-mail to schedule a time
Required Reading
No textbook is required; the available books are either too simple or too complex. Lecture readings will be posted on the class web site, and a packet containing all of the reading material for the quarter will be made available in class. Students ARE REQUIRED to read the lectures before each class, and submit answers to two questions about the reading by 10:00 PM the night before the class. Discussion in class will be based on these readings.
A list of additional books and recommended readings is provided here and at the end of each of the lecture notes. Most of these books will be on reserve in the Geology library (Mitchell Bldg.). The readings will provide supplementary information for those who are interested (or clarification if you have a hard time following the lecture reading material).

A new way of teaching

Peer Instruction
These courses will be taught using a Peer Instruction approach (Peer Instruction a user's manual, E.Mazur, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1997). Peer Instruction is an interactive teaching methodology where students apply the concepts they read about to real problems during class. This teaching methodology encourages problem solving, group interaction, and critical thinking and results in enhanced conceptual understanding of the subject matter.
Problem Based Learning
The two courses, Biological Oceanography and Marine Chemistry will meet jointly twice a week to solve interdisciplinary problems. We believe that the skills and information taught in the two courses can be most effectively mastered by continuously applying them to real world challenges. Furthermore, groups of students collaborating to solve these unstructured problems learn important lifelong skills throughout the process and come up with solutions that are often much better than the sum of their parts. In the working world, your ability to work in teams to solve problems will be paramount.
Therefore, students in both courses will be grouped into teams of three to four students to solve five interdisciplinary challenges throughout the quarter. These teams will meet for one hour from 1:15 to 2:05 in class on Tuesdays and Thursdays to work on the challenges. If you feel comfortable with rather focused "plug and chug" questions typically found at the end of chapters in many textbooks, you may be frustrated by these problems. The challenges are mostly open-ended and don't have one correct solution. Problem-based learning rewards students who want to pursue understanding beyond just the "right answer."
Class Web Site
To support you in doing your personal work for the courses and to help you communicate with your teammates outside of class, we are providing you with a WEB-based discussion forum. You will have a group space as well as a personal space. All information about the course, the course syllabus, lecture readings, resources such as papers, data, and web sites, special announcements, and the description of the challenges can all be found on Panfora II: URL: or by clicking on the [Home] button at the top of the page.
Course Requirements
We would like you to use the forum in the following ways.
Group Work Topic (Under your group topic, you'll see folder called Group Work):
All written communication outside of class must be done in the Group Work section of the forum as opposed to e-mail. Copy and share all of your personal notes that you feel will benefit your groups progress in developing a solution to the challenge. Here are examples of items that should be in your Group Work topic:
  • Summary of group meetings
  • Discussion on defining the challenge
  • Discussion on researching the solution
  • Solution ideas
  • Data for solutions
  • Presentation materials (i.e. Excel files, PowerPoint slides, web pages, maps, images)
Group Presentations of Challenges
Your group needs to come up with a complete solution for all five challenges. Your group will be assigned one of the five challenges to be lead presenter. We expect an oral presentation of your solution with visuals, data to support your solution, and a comprehensive argument. When your group is not the lead presenter, you must be prepared to add something new or refute something in the lead presentation. All of the visuals that you use in your presentation should be stored in your Group Work topic in the forum.
- Class Participation: 35%
- Group Challenges: 50%
- Lab Work: 15%
Class participation includes your oral participation during the morning class as well as your contributions in the Forum to group discussions. The criteria will be constructive contributions at every class meeting. You will not be judged by the accuracy of your comments but by the effort you make and how prepared you are. We will also look at your contributions to the group discussions on the Forum.
Group Challenges includes:
  • Your group's postings on the web on all five challenges
  • Your group's progress reports
  • Your group's presentation of the challenges as lead presenter and contributing presenter (Should include comprehensive results and discussion, accurate data, and a well-prepared, oral presentation.)
  • The materials you used to solve the challenge (in your group work topic)
  • Your group meetings
In General
Since the class size is relatively small, and because you are here to learn, we strongly encourage you to ask questions. If you don't understand something, it is most likely that someone else in the class shares your confusion. The easiest way to resolve your misunderstanding (and correct our mistakes) is to speak up. If you have any suggestions or comments about the class, the notes, or other material related to the class please feel free to speak to us. While there will be a formal evaluation at the end of the term, your earlier suggestions will benefit all of us before the class is over.
web-stuff by Gert van Dijken (gert@ocean)