MARINE 100G : The Oceans Around Us


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An interdisciplinary approach to understanding the importance of our oceans as the driver of our climate, source of sustenance, and focus of domestic and international political, economic and legal negotiations. It is framed around physical and biological processes in the ocean which raise questions for ocean management in NZ and internationally, allowing real-world debate about the future of the ocean realm.

Course Overview

Our Oceans Around Us provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the importance of our oceans as the driver of our climate, source of sustenance, and a focus of domestic and international political, economic and legal tensions and negotiations. It includes physical and biological process in the ocean which raise questions for ocean management in New Zealand and internationally, allowing real-world debate about the future of the ocean realm.
The course is built around five key themes, each of which has four one hour lectures followed by a two hour dialogue session, where issues raised in the lectures are discussed and students are encouraged to participate in the discussions. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: University

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand the role of the ocean as a critical driver of global natural processes. (Capability 1)
  2. Demonstrate underpinning knowledge of ocean physical structure and processes, e.g., currents and mixing dynamics, coastal geomorphology, ocean chemistry and how climate change will affect these processes. (Capability 1)
  3. Understand how energy and nutrients move through ocean food webs. (Capability 1)
  4. Describe major latitudinal patterns in marine ecosystems and the processes driving them. (Capability 1)
  5. Understand coastal dynamics (processes operating at the interface between land and sea). (Capability 1)
  6. Understand the wide range of resources provided to humans by global oceans. (Capability 1 and 6)
  7. Understand the varying human perspectives and resulting approaches to owning and managing our oceans, including the role of Maori. (Capability 6)
  8. Formulate advanced personal viewpoints on key issues in relation to the future of our oceans. (Capability 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  9. Establish a knowledge of key sources of quality information and data for informing an advanced insight into issues relating to the ocean realm. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  10. Demonstrate basic skills in assessing, interpreting and presenting scientific data and scientific concepts. (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 20% Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Coursework
Practical 25% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 35% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Final Exam

The in-course test and final exam are multi-choice structure. The practical assignment is done online through CANVAS and involves straightforward modelling of fish production from a fishery. Two assignments involve writing a short summary of a dialogue or discussion session, including presenting your personal views on the issue.

Key Topics

The course is built around five key themes:-
1. Oceans and Global Processes
2. Living Oceans
3. Ocean Resources
4. Ocean Values
5. Future Ocean Issues
Within each theme lectures and dialogue sessions will involve a mix of presenters covering different topics and perspectives relating to the theme. The aim of this approach is to delivery a highly varied and stimulating programme that highlights the diversity of expertise from across the full breadth of a multidisciplinary university.

Learning Resources

There is no prescribed textbook for this course. Students are encouraged to read around each topic and each of the lecturers provides suggestions on possible sources of material for further reading to complement the content presented in lectures.
A reference of a general nature you may find useful is:
Brake, L., Peart, R. 2015. Sustainable Seas: Managing our marine environment. Environmental Defence Society, Auckland. 418 pp.
Copies of this book are available in the General Library of the University.

Special Requirements

It is not a requirement to complete the practical component of the course, however, it does contribute 35% of the final grade for the course.
There is no field trip or components to this course that are delivered outside standard university hours.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course at the 100 level and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect up to 3 hours of lectures, a 2 hour dialogue session, 3 hours of background reading and thinking about the content and 2 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Lecture slides and where possible lecture recordings will be made available via Canvas within Modules usually within 24 hours of the lecture. You should not be wholly reliant on lecture recording as the technology is not fail safe as there are sometimes technical problems with the recordings. There is no substitute for attending and participating in the lectures and dialogue sessions in person. An effort is made to make the course as participatory as possible to promote engagement and learning with the content of the course.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/01/2020 03:09 p.m.