Fiammetta Straneo

Classic and Modern Papers in Physical Oceanography
Course 12.758
Instructor: Fiamma Straneo

The objective of this course is to create a forum for the reading, discussion and understanding of some of the fundamental papers in physical oceanography and related fields. The course will cover 3 main topics with several weeks spent on each topic. Topics for this semester are: lateral fluxes, internal and surface gravity waves, the thermohaline circulation. Within each topic, the selection of papers will try to follow the historical evolution and provide an equal balance of theoretical and observational papers.

The class will meet once a week, for one and a half hours, to discuss the selected paper (papers if short). The paper's content will be first presented (approximately 30-45min) to the class by one pre-assigned student (on a rotational basis) followed by a group discussion, facilitated by the instructor. All students are expected to read the paper in question prior to class, and the presenting student may find it helpful to read one or more related papers. He/She is also welcome/encouraged to seek the help of the instructor or other faculty members for clarification.

The primary goal of this course is to provide a different perspective on some of the fundamental problems in our field by considering some of the individual works which, when pieced together, contribute to the more cohesive description of how the ocean works presented in today's textbooks and classes. The `discussion format' of the class is meant to encourage students to consider the many different aspects of the work in question including motivation, approach utilized, and implications for the broader context. The course is also intended to help students develop basic analytical and critical skills in paper reading and, therefore, writing. To facilitate this, the final 10- 15min of each class will be devoted to a discussion of the paper's structure and clarity of the material presented. Finally, students will benefit from the practice in synthesizing information and making oral presentations.

2003 Reading List   
2004 Reading List   
2005 Reading List   

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