NOTE: If you are enrolled in the Geol / Metr 103 Oceanography Laboratory course, you may choose to submit a report from one of your class field trips. Just be sure to check the guidelines below to make sure that all required items are included in your report.
The main objectives are: (1) to make simple oceanographic observations; (2) to try to understand what the observations mean; (3) to build upon your own observations by reading about the subject; and (4) to prepare a written report. This is your opportunity to do a scientific investigation!
Choosing a project:
Choose a topic that sounds interesting to you, that is tightly focused, and that you can visit. Some suggestions are listed below, but you may choose another. See the instructor if you're stuck for ideas. You are encouraged to work together with 1 or 2 other students for this project, but each student must write an independent report.
Content and organization:
The report should be brief (3-4 typed double-spaced pages plus illustrations), well written, and should present your own observations, some supporting references, and your interpretations and conclusions. Sample papers from past years are available in the instructor's office for review. The paper should have the following organization:
2. introduction to the subject (include topic investigated, map of study area location, methods used to test your hypothesis, and background information) NOTE: a map of the study area is REQUIRED. You may use a road map or any other map on which you can mark the location of your study site.
3. describe your observations (include photos, maps, charts, data lists, or other illustrations related to your conclusions).
4. interpret your observations and make conclusions (more background information can be included to justify your conclusions).
5. list of references, with complete information about your sources.
Note that web sites are often not reviewed (that is, anyone can put whatever they want onto a site). If you wish to use web sites, carefully evaluate their reliability and justify why you have used the site. For example, sites produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), or other nationally or locally recognized agency is likely to be reliable. Sites produced by random people without an affiliation are unlikely to be reliable.
|5 Mar.||Submit a one-paragraph description of your proposed topic. This is so the instructor can provide feedback about whether or not the project seems feasible.|
|23 Apr.||Field project report due. (Grade will be reduced for each late day.)|
|Report will be returned to you before the end of the semester.|
|Points||Criteria for Written Report|
|The question investigated is relevant to the course. The report has strong conclusions that are well supported by the student's own observations. The report is well organized, well written, and free of grammatical and spelling errors. Maps and figures are neatly prepared and complement the written text. Several references to background information are provided.|
|The question investigated is relevant to the course. The report has reasonable conclusions supported by the student's own observations. The report is easy to read and has few grammatical and spelling errors. There are maps and figures that help to explain the written text, and at least one reference.|
|The question investigated is relevant to the course, and some effort has been made to draw conclusions from observations. The report is readable and written material is supplemented by maps, figures, and references.|
|The student has made some effort to investigate an oceanographic problem and write a report of the findings.|
|<26 (F)||You do not submit any report|
|NOTE: If you submit the report on time and follow the guidelines above, you can easily get an "A" or "B" grade on this assignment|
|Examples of projects from past semesters are available in my office if you wish to see them prior to writing your own report.|
Topic suggestions (or use your own idea):
1. What evidence for the location of the San Andreas fault can be found at Point Reyes National Seashore or Mussel Rock near Daly City?
2. What types of oceanic rocks are found in San Francisco and how did they form (choose a specific location or two within the city)?
3. What evidence for crustal motion is visible on the Hayward fault in the East Bay?
1. What are the sources and losses of beach sand at your favorite beach (sand budget)?
2. How do two beaches compare and why are they similar or different (e.g., Baker and Ocean Beaches)? Possible measurements are wave height, wave period, beach shape (e.g., berms, cusps, flat slope), sand size, longshore and rip currents.
3. What is the relationship between sand size and beach-face slope; between sand size and wave height; or between wave height and location near headlands or islands?
4. What is the function and shape of coastal sand dunes, for ex., at Ano Nuevo Park?
5. How does the elevation of the marine cliffs vary along the San Mateo coast; how did these cliffs form?
6. Examine a coastal landslide and describe its shape and movements.
7. What are the effects of coastal erosion (e.g., at Sloat Beach or Moss Beach)?
8. What are the effects of development on coastal processes, for ex., the breakwater at El Granada Beach, or the pier and harbor at Santa Cruz harbor?
1. What are the characteristics of lagoons or esteros, e.g., Rodeo Lagoon, Limantour Estero, or the lagoon behind Pescadero Beach?
2. What are the effects of human development on the wetlands of San Francisco Bay (choose a specific site such as Foster City or Oakland)?
3. What are the components of a salt marsh and how can one be reconstructed after it has already been destroyed (for ex., Crissy Field reconstructed salt marsh in the Presidio of San Francisco)?
1. What types of marine organisms live in the Moss Beach (or some other) rocky intertidal zone and how have they adapted to living in this extreme environment?
2. What kinds of plants and animals live at the Palo Alto or China Camp salt marsh and how have they adapted to living in this environment?
3. What types of plants and animals live in the coastal sand dune environment?