Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 13 Issue 02

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Volume 13, No. 2
Pages 104 - 105

THE OCEANOGRAPHY CLASSROOM • An Introduction to Online Physical Oceanography

Matthias Tomczak
First Paragraph

While marine science appears to experience a boom in undergraduate teaching (if the number of competing introductory textbooks is any indication) anyone involved in teaching marine science as a first year subject will have to agree that in all countries of advanced oceanographic training academic standards at undergraduate level have been on the decline. The reasons for this are complex and many, but there is no denying that compared to their counterparts of 20 years ago, students entering university today come ill prepared in such basic areas as mathematics, physics and chemistry. More and more students enroll in marine science classes, but fewer and fewer students satisfy the eligibility criteria for the study of physical oceanography. Universities try to cope with this situation in a variety of ways, but in a system where the existence of teaching staff has to be justified on the basis of student numbers alone the inevitable result is a “broadening” of the course structure, an euphemism for lowered entry requirements. Student expectations, on the other hand, have risen faster than student numbers—the minimum the students expect for the substantial fees they have to pay is a lavishly illustrated volume of lecture notes.


Tomczak, M. 2000. Education: An introduction to online physical oceanography. Oceanography 13(2):104–105, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2000.44.