TNCC Adds Oceanography Course to Science Offerings

Published: May 23, 2011

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) has expanded its offerings to include Oceanography I and Oceanography II. The new four-credit, two-semester course enhances the College’s Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering curriculum by giving students another option for completing laboratory science degree requirements while enhancing both local and global ocean literacy.

Oceanography I (GOL 111) begins this fall running August through December. Its follow-up, Oceanography II (GOL 112), runs January 2012 through May 2012. “This course is intended for anyone interested in learning the physical, chemical, geological and biological aspects of the world’s oceans. The only prerequisites are Math 03 (Algebra I) and English 05 (Reading Improvement),” said Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer Martin.

Students in the course will engage in all major fields (biology, chemistry, geology and physics) as they pertain to the oceanic environment, she explained. Topics covered in the course include history of ocean exploration, seawater composition, barrier island ecology, climate change, marine sediments, waves, tides and ocean circulation. Student will also study marine organisms, biodiversity and adaptations, fisheries, ocean pollution, international maritime law and more.

Additionally, inquiry-based field laboratories on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean will give students hands-on opportunities to explore the tools and techniques used in oceanography.

Class will be held at TNCC’s Hampton campus with lecture sections Mondays through Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and Thursdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The laboratory sections take place Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. The course will eventually become available at TNCC’s Historic Triangle campus in Williamsburg, noted Martin.

She said career opportunities in ocean sciences are endless with positions available in education, government, industry and non-profit sectors. Some ocean-related careers can be found in fields such as fisheries and other resource uses, marine conservation and policy, weather and climate, ocean engineering, technology, and development, formal (academics) and informal (museums and aquaria) education, national security and defense, energy research and exploration, environmental protection and marine biology.

For more information about Oceanography I and Oceanography II or other science offerings, visit


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