AMS Ocean Studies is an introductory oceanography course provided by the American Meteorological Society to undergraduate institutions for local offering. The course is prepared by an experienced team of oceanographers and science educators. AMS Ocean Studies is produced in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

AMS Ocean Studies examines the world ocean from an Earth system perspective. The course emphasizes (1) the flow and transformations of water and energy into and out of the ocean, (2) the physical and chemical properties of seawater, (3) ocean circulation, (4) marine life and its adaptations, (5) interactions between the ocean and the other components of the Earth system (i.e., hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere), and (6) the human/societal impacts on and response to those Earth System interactions. AMS Ocean Studies is modeled after the highly successful AMS Weather Studies course, which has been licensed by over 490 institutions. AMS Ocean Studies has been implemented at over 180 institutions.

At the instructor's option, students are introduced to the dynamic ocean:

  • in near real-time, by working with current oceanographic data delivered via the Internet and coordinated with learning investigations keyed to current ocean products; or
  • via examination of real-world case studies delivered in electronic form.

How can the course be implemented?

  • As a NEW institutional course offering.
  • To REVISE an existing course at your institution.
  • To EXPAND an existing course by adding a laboratory component.
  • As the FOCUS of an online course or as individual directed study.

Who can offer the course?

AMS Ocean Studies can be offered by experienced science faculty or those new to teaching the ocean sciences. Collegial assistance is available to all new instructors.

This course has been successfully offered by faculty from many scientific disciplines, including oceanography, geology, meteorology, geography, biology, and physics.

During course implementation and instruction, collegial assistance is available from faculty members who have already offered AMS Ocean Studies. Also, AMS science educators will answer any questions on aspects of course delivery and content. This course enables faculty members to expand and/or update their curriculum and join the ranks of colleagues teaching with the latest technology.

Faculty Resource material and Website

The Faculty Resource material is provided via the faculty website to licensed institutions and contains the faculty guide, Investigations Manual answer forms, test bank questions, and textbook images. The faculty guide describes the course and its components and contains suggestions for course implementation in a variety of classroom settings. Included for each textbook chapter is an outline, summary, and learning objectives. 

Answer forms and keys are available in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Word, PDF, text, and Respondus, test-generating software for which your institution may have a license. This program opens formatted files and converts them to various course management system files. 

When are the real-time course components delivered?

The real-world case studies in the Investigations Manual allow the combination of manual and textbook to function as a full course. Many institutions offering the course during fall and spring semesters use Current Ocean Studies on the RealTime Ocean Portal to expand on important concepts using current or recent oceanographic data.

Current Ocean Studies are posted before nine Eastern Time on Mondays during fall and spring semesters then accumulate in the Archives as the semester progresses. Current Ocean Studies 13, 14, and 15, which coordinate with the three independent chapters of the textbook, are designed for use at any point during the course and available year-round.

To further assist with aligning college and AMS delivery schedules, on August 15 Current Ocean Studies 1-3 will be posted. Current Ocean Studies answer keys and Respondus-compatible files will be posted to the faculty website on the same schedule.

View the real-time course delivery schedule.

How do I integrate this course with my Course Management System?

Answer keys are provided in cms-compatible Respondus files, as well as text files, to be ported into your system’s quizzing function for automated scoring and immediate student feedback. This feature allows for full integration into an e-learning environment.

View the Course Management System Integration page to learn about the easy three step process for porting our files into your system.

How do I host this course at my college?

If you would like to use the entire AMS Ocean Studies course package, which includes the textbook, manual, and instructor access to the RealTime Ocean Portal and Faculty Website, submit a Course License to the AMS Education Program. The Course License fee (from August 15th to August 14th) is $149 per institution, regardless of number of sections or number of students.

Go to the Licensing page to learn more.

With an AMS Ocean Studies license, your college receives:

  • AMS Ocean Studies full course use for academic year
  • Faculty Resource Material, Textbook and Manual
  • Instructor Access to AMS RealTime Ocean Portal
  • Instructor Access to AMS Ocean Studies Faculty Website
  • Files Compatible with Course Management Systems

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us at onlineocean@ametsoc.org or 1-800-824-0405.