Our Changing Oceans: Bringing Together Science and Policy


Winter 2014 quarter

Taught by

Rika Anderson

Water is essential to life, and the environmental policies related to marine and aquatic ecosystems will provide many of the subjects for our study in this program. When combined with introductory policy components starting with the Pacific Northwest and looking globally, our studies of the biological, physical and chemical characteristics of oceans will provide the valuable knowledge necessary to make instrumental decisions about marine resources and habitats. It is essential to understand the interconnections between biology and ecology in order to make informed decisions about how environmental policy should proceed. This core program is designed to provide scientific skills and policy knowledge necessary to understand problems facing Earth’s ecosystems. Learning will take place through lectures, seminars, a workshop series and laboratory exercises.

We will approach these issues from the perspective of the whole ocean ecosystem: how do currents, seasons, nutrient cycles, and other physical and chemical properties affect life in our oceans? What part does each type of organism play within the ecosystem? How can changes in one component of the ecosystem have ripple effects on the rest? We will apply this scientific knowledge to critically assess important marine environmental issues, focusing on ocean acidification, climate change, fisheries policy, and deep-sea mining. A week-long field trip to Friday Harbor will provide hands-on oceanographic experience, and a trip to the Capitol will allow us to witness legislation of important marine issues in action.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

environmental studies, biological sciences, public policy, and marine science.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online:

Required Fees

$385 for overnight field trips.


Date Revision
December 2nd, 2013 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Freshmen ONLY

Maximum enrollment: 18


Course Reference Number

Fr (16 credits): 20398

Go to my.evergreen.edu to register for this program.

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