Your Oceanography Professor’s Welcome Message




Hi and Welcome to MiraCosta’s OCEA101 Oceanography Summer Course!  

My name is Ray Rector, your oceanography lecture instructor.   Congratulations for enrolling in this introductory oceanography course here at MiraCosta College this summer – you picked a great program! 


Heres how this course generally works:


1) You the student are here to become educated on all the major aspects of oceanographic science.  Over the next 6 weeks, you will be studying all the major topics of oceanography, including the origin of the ocean, plate tectonics, seafloors, marine sediments, seawater properties, atmospheric and ocean circulation, waves, shorelines, marine life, marine resources, and marine environmental concerns. To successfully complete this course, you must actively participate in several 2-hour lectures each week; take part in five mandatory beach fieldtrips, and take a set of quizzes and exams.   The information (course content) that you need for successful learning in this course is found in several places: a) your optional (but highly-recommended) hardcopy textbook, b) the instructors PowerPoints and lecture notes found at my website, c) the colleges free online electronic oceanography textbook, d) streaming oceanography videos, e) numerous website and online article links that will be given in class and in the assignment instructions, f) the college Canvas course site, and g) direct personal communication with me during class time, office hours, and on fieldtrips.  You may also do a variety of extra credit work for additional course points by doing supplementary research assignments.


2) The instructor (that’s me!) is primarily a course content facilitator and learning outcome assessor I’m here as your guide to the wonderful world of ocean science. As your instructor, I will do my best to present the course curriculum to you, lead in thought-stimulating class discussions, help you to successfully complete all the course activities, and finally, assess your assignments and tests. My goal and hope is that you achieve all the student learning outcomes in this introductory oceanography course and successfully get a good grade for doing it.  You can always reach me by email at


3) There is a course website - maintained by myself for maximizing your learning outcomes.  This website is found at:       Once there, click on the


        button to access our classroom webpage.


Here you will find a plethora of helpful information, including course syllabus, schedule, lecture notes, PowerPoints, test, fieldtrip information, and numerous resource links.


4) There is an OPTIONAL, BUT HIGHLY-RECOMMENDED hardcopy oceanography textbook that can be purchased either at the campus bookstore or online textbook seller. Below is the text info:


     OPTIONAL TEXTBOOK:  Essentials of Oceanography, 12th or 11th Edition;  Authors: Trujillo & Thurman,204,203,200_.jpg






12th Edition:  Print ISBN: 9780134073545, 0134073541

                         eText ISBN: 9780134298092, 0134298098

11th Edition:  Print ISBN: 9780321814050, 0321814053

                          eText ISBN: 9780133558890, 0133558894





     I recommend purchasing a used copy and/or older edition to save money; check out online vendors like


5) There is also a FREE, electronic oceanography textbook made available through the college that closely mirrors both the required paperback textbook and the course schedule of study.  This website is titled Oceanography 101” and its found at:



    Please make the most of this very valuable learning resource.


6) Your typical academic work agenda for each week will include: a) reading a chapter or two in your hardcopy textbook (and/or electronic textbook, b) viewing an “Endless Voyage” streaming video lesson, c) reviewing my lecture notes and PowerPoint presentations, d) visiting and browsing several educational websites, d) working on your written research assignment, e) attending two lectures on campus, and f) taking a quiz.


7) The course Syllabus - an Important Must-Read Document - is basically the official course contract between me (the instructor) and you (the student).  This is where all the course information and logistics are found. Things like textbook information, enrollment, attendance, and grading policies, are all found in the syllabus.   The syllabus also includes the course   Schedule which is important for keeping your studies on a timely track – things like assignment, test, and fieldtrip due dates are all there.


8) Contacting me:  Don't be shy when it comes to communicating with me or your fellow students.  There are several means of communication: 1) during class, 2) email, 3) discussion board, 4) phone, and 5) fieldtrip meetings.  As a general rule, I can be quickly contacted by email through the “Mail” link, or via my personal email at     (I check for messages at least once a day, typically several times). 


It is my personal aim that you will enjoy this course this summer semester, and that you will learn a lot about our ocean. I hope that you make the most of it! Look forward to meeting you and the other students in class.





Ray Rector