General Course Information for SCN2002A/B: Marine Science A/B

Course: SCN2002A/B - Marine Science A/B
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:
Course Learning Outcomes:

Marine Science is the study of the oceans on planet Earth. The course of study for Marine Science will begin with a brief look at the history of oceanography and the history of the formation of the earth itself. Students study the four major divisions of oceanography:  geological oceanography, chemical oceanography, physical oceanography, and biological oceanography. 

Geological oceanography is the study of the seafloor; what it is made of and how it "works".  Students will study the concepts of plate tectonics, continental margins, ocean basins, sedimentation, and the structure of the seafloor.  This study of geological oceanography will help us answer the question "Why are the oldest rocks that make up the seafloor only about 250 million years old when the oldest rocks found on the continents are over 4.5 billion years old?"

Chemical oceanography is the study of the composition of seawater. Students will learn about the properties of the water molecule, the structure and properties of seawater, how light is refracted by seawater, and dissolved gases in seawater.  Our study of chemical oceanography will help us the question "What makes seawater salty when the rivers that supply water to the oceans are not salty?"

Physical oceanography is the study of the movement of the water in the oceans. Students will learn about ocean currents, waves, and tides.  The study of physical oceanography will help us answer the question "How is it possible that global warming will lead to the next ice age?" 

Biological oceanography is the study of life in the oceans. Students will learn about primary production in the oceans, the factors that affect life in the oceans, the plankton (the drifters), the nekton (the swimmers), and the benthos (animals that live on and in the seafloor).  The study of biological oceanography will help us answer the question "Why is most of the life in the oceans found near the coastlines instead of in the deep sea?"

All courses are written to California Department of Education
standards and to national standards, as applicable.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures