Susan M. Libes (1992) An Introduction to Marine Biogeochemistry,
John Wiley and Sons.
This book is OK. It is satisfactory in some areas but not very
thorough in others. Overall it is probably the best book available. The
main reading will be the material I cover in class which is included in a
set of detailed notes that are on the OCN421 web site. The sections in
Libes that cover (i.e. supplement) the material covered in class are
indicated in the syllabus.
Certain lectures may draw from external readings (e.g. journal
articles and chapters from other books) and these will be distributed
before class when required.
Lecture notes are available on the
OCN421 web site. This site can be reached through the
ocean.washington.edu homepage (you're here!). These can be downlodaded
and read or printed as you prefer. They are stored in Adobe .pdf format
so you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. This can be downloaded
for free from the Adobe web site.
We will emphasize HOW rather than WHAT. Our feeling is that the most
important thing you should get from this class are tools you can apply to
problems. You can always learn the facts about a specific problem. The
tools we will emphasize are 1) chemical equilibrium calculations, 2)
simple mass balance box models, 3) the group approach to problem solving
and 4) writing short and concise analyses of study questions.
We realize that many students have not had chemistry for some time so
we will try our best to bridge that gap. Make sure you ask questions if
you hear unfamiliar terms or if you are lost. Come see Thor Arnarson or
Jim Murray frequently.
The syllabus is organized into three broad areas of major focus
- The Chemistry of
Seawater and Chemical Equilibrium
- Influence of
Biology on Marine Chemistry
- Applications of
There will be six problem sets. These are to be turned in to the TA's
mail box before 0930 on Wednesday of the week after they are assigned
(see class schedule). Late submissions will
not be scored unless cleared with the TA. This class has a strong
quantitative orientation and doing well on the problem sets will be
necessary for doing well on the exams. Grading will emphasize your
understanding of the method as well as the numerical results. The problem
sets will count 48% (8% each) of the final grade. Students are
encouraged to work together on problem sets.
There will be four, 2-day, group study learning exercises (see class schedule). These will be used to focus
discussion on some of the major areas of excitement in the field of
- What controls the
composition of seawater?
- What contols
- What do we predict
to be the fate of fossil fuel CO2?
Each Group Study will have required reading that will be passed out
several days in advance. Students will break into groups to discuss
specific aspects of the papers. Written analysis will include discussion
of specific questions and perhaps some required calculations. These
papers and participation in the study groups will count 32% (8%
each) of the grade.
The final exam will be 2 hours on May 18 and will count 20% of
the grade. The exam will be closed-book, however, you may bring one page
(double-sided) of notes/equations.
Come see us in the Ocean Science Building anytime you have questions
or problems. You will find that both of us will accomodate requests for
meetings during non-office hours if necessary. If that is not convenient
send questions by e-mail to either of us.