The Science of Shipwrecks

HNR 350 - The Science of Shipwrecks

MySlice Info:

Term: Fall 2020
Class #:
Credits: 3

Newton, Cathryn

Counts toward:
HNR Nat Sci, Interdisciplinary, Public Presentation

Course Time(s):
MW 12:45pm-02:05pm


Course Description:

We will explore the scientific aspects of shipwrecks: oceanography, coastal processes, and marine technology. The ships we will consider will span thousands of years – from antiquity to the 21st century. Our goal will be to understand the particulars of some classic shipwrecks – USS MONITOR, TITANIC, and others – and to gain mastery of some of the scientific fundamentals of ocean processes and evolving ocean technology. We will use concepts from paleobiology and biodiversity studies to understand more about how shipwrecks can be studied on or in the seafloor. Students will study at least two shipwrecks in considerable detail. They will develop more sophisticated research skills, learn sampling processes out at sea on a Woods Hole Oceanographic (or other) research ship, strengthen their written and oral presentational abilities, and increase their analytical rigor as part of this research project. There will also be quizzes and a number of writing assignments. We will take a REQUIRED field trip to a major Atlantic oceanographic research center (e.g., Woods Hole). Date TBA.