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GEOL114: Introduction to Oceanography

Final Project Help

First, select six specific topics at specific locations from this list of categories:

  • Seabed mining: Seabed mining is the process of extracting resources like sand, tin, and diamonds from the seafloor. Deep sea mining is a relative new activity, in which minerals like gold, copper, and the rare earth minerals needed to make electric car batteries and solar panels are extracted from hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Environmental groups generally oppose these activities due to the irreparable harm they could cause to rare marine ecosystems.
  • Ocean acidification: In Module 3, we learned about the chemical and physical properties of seawater, such as salinity, pressure, and temperature. We also learned how some human activities are having an effect on these properties. Increased carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution have had the effect of lowering the overall pH of our oceans, which can have drastic effects on marine life, calcification of sea shells, coral reef damage, and changes to the SOFAR channel.
  • Eutrophication: In Module 4, we learned about the effects of eutrophication, an excess of nutrients in a body of water which result in conditions such as hypoxia and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Human activities contribute to these problems, from washing your car on the street, to spraying pesticides before a rain, to the destruction of wetlands and other barriers that naturally intercept nutrients before they reach the ocean. These dangerous conditions pose a threat to both to aquatic life and to humans.
  • Marine debris: In Module 5, we looked at the various factors that affect the Earth’s climate, from the spinning of the Earth to the amount of radiation from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth’s surface. We explored how those factors result in various wind patterns and ocean circulation patterns. When consumer goods, often single-use disposables, are littered or improperly managed, this trash can find its way into rivers, streams and other waterways. These ultimately empty into our oceans, where the trash becomes marine debris.

Topic example: Diamond mining off the coast of Namibia

Diamond mining falls under the seabed mining category and Namibia is the specific location.

Resources to help with choosing a topic:
Now, you will research your six specific topics one at a time, in order to inform your written description summaries.

Background Information

First, let's search a couple of the research databases listed on the Background Information page. These will give you overview/encyclopedia-type information on your chosen topic, but not necessarily on the specific location/country. For example, click on Britannica Online from that page, and type your topic, for example: diamond mining into the search box. You can then do the same search in Credo Reference.

OneSearch Advanced Search

Next, let's add in the specific location aspect of your topic and search for research articles, eBooks, etc. OneSearch searches most of the library's 90+ databases all at the same time. When you have a topic that contains more than one main idea, such as, diamond mining off the coast of Namibia, it is helpful to use the Advanced Search screen in OneSearch. You will see 3 search boxes. Enter each main idea into it's own box. For example:

In the first box, type the specific topic you are researching. If it's a phrase of more than one word, like "diamond mining," put the phrase in quotation marks. This will search for "diamond mining" instead of searching diamond and mining as separate words.

In the second box, type the location, for example: Namibia

search results for search described above

Click the Search button. You can narrow down your results with the Refine Results column on the left side of the page. Try limiting by date or resource type.

If you need personalized research assistance, please contact your librarians. We are here to help!

Write a one-page description for each of the six selected topics.  Each page will include these three items:

The topic and location: (eg.) Diamond mining off the coast of Namibia

The problem: (eg.) Diamond mining stirs up sediments on the floor of the ocean damaging the ecosystem

Summary (found through your research): Must tie the problem to the specific location (eg.) Answer the question, why are their diamonds in this location.  Then, a summary of the effects.

Don't forget to properly cite your sources in APA Style: