Spring 2024
ESE 131
January 22 - April 24
Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30AM - 11:45AM
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Introduction to Physical Oceanography and Climate


Observations and fundamentals of ocean dynamics, from the role of the oceans in climate change to beach waves. Topics include the greenhouse effect and the role of the oceans in global warming; El Niño events in the equatorial Pacific Ocean; the wind-driven ocean circulation and the Gulf Stream; coastal upwelling and fisheries; temperature, salinity, the overturning ocean circulation and its effect on global climate stability and variability; wave motions: surface ocean waves, internal waves, tsunamis, and tides; ocean observations by ships, satellites, moorings, floats and more. A field trip to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod will be an opportunity to learn about sea-going oceanography. Students will be doing a group video project and group in-class presentations. Scientific computation and visualization methods will be introduced (students may choose either Matlab or Python) and will be used for some homework assignments.
Course Notes: EPS 131 is also offered as ESE 131. Students may not take both for credit. This course fulfills the EPS sub-discipline requirement of Atmosphere(s) and Oceans. Given in alternate years.

Environmental Sci & Engineer
Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Course Level
Interest Area
Physical Sciences
Cross Registration