CSU–Pueblo professor to offer online course on oceanography

Colorado State University – Pueblo is one of more than 90 colleges and universities nationwide to join forces with the American Meteorological Society (AMS) to launch a highly innovative online course to introduce students to the science of oceanography. Lee Ann Martinez, associate professor of biology, recently attended a one-week faculty workshop at the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography in Seattle, WA, as part of the course implementation effort. The course, Online Ocean Studies, was developed by the AMS with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and relies heavily on the use of the latest ocean data and maps delivered via the Internet. The introductory oceanography course is slated to be offered at CSU-Pueblo in Spring 2009.

The workshop is a key component of a special AMS program being conducted in partnership with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide students at minority-serving colleges and universities with access to Online Ocean Studies. The AMS Online Ocean Studies Diversity Project is a major part of the AMS mission to expand the offering of geoscience study opportunities to students who are members of groups underrepresented in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology and to increase the participation by minorities in science careers, including ocean science and science teaching. Support for this AMS Diversity Project is provided by the NSF’s Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement – National Dissemination Program.

Online Ocean Studies is partially delivered over the Internet. Students will participate in hands-on learning experiences while completing two laboratory-like investigations each week during the semester based on current “near real time” ocean conditions. At the June workshop, Martinez and 23 other faculty members representing minority-serving colleges and universities across the U.S. were advised on methods to teach the course and were briefed on the recent advances in ocean sciences. Lectures were delivered by experts in the field of oceanography, including speakers from The University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.