Montana State University

ERTH 591-802: Fundamentals of Oceanography

The Office of Continuing Education at Extended University offers both face-to-face and online learning opportunities:

  • Degree Programs
  • Certificate Programs
  • Professional Development
  • Summer Field Study Programs
  • Study Abroad
  • Leisure and Lifelong Learning
  • Youth Programs

Jan 22-Apr 13, 2018
Credit: 3 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $835.50
Instructor(s): Sean Griffin

Course Description

Please register for CRN 33800
Fundamentals of Oceanography offers an introduction to the physical, biological, chemical and geological processes of the ocean and its ecosystems. Teachers will learn about the complex interactions between these properties, their influence on terrestrial ecosystems and the impacts humans have on these processes. Exciting laboratory exercises can be adapted to be offered at any grade level.

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers log into the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week and spend 10 - 13 hours each week while the course is in session, either online or offline working on course related assignments, to stay current and successfully complete this 3 credit graduate course.


Sean Griffin, PhD.
As a Professor of Oceanography, Dr. Griffin has designed and offered a variety of marine science courses and curriculum at the K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels. He works in Puerto Rico as a Coral Reef Restoration Ecologist for the NOAA Restoration Center and has extensive sailing experience on everything from small sailboats to tallships.


Bachelor's degree and teacher certification with one year of teaching experience; college level ecology course and some familiarity with using technology in the classroom.

Target Audience

7 to 12 grade teachers seeking graduate credit in Earth Science, NTEN Certificate students, or MSU's Master of Science in Science Education students.

Time Commitment:

10-13 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

In addition, teachers are on their own to purchase the texts listed below.

Required Books/Materials

  • An Introduction to the World’s Oceans, 10th edition (2009)
    Keith A Sverdrup and Virginia Armbrust,
    McGraw- Hill Higher Education
    ISBN 10: 0073376701
    Approximately $165 new
  • Life on an Ocean Planet: Laboratory and Activities Manual, 2006.
    Current Publishing Corp. Margarita, CA.
    ISBN 10: 1878663356
    Approximately $10 - $15 new

Teachers are on their own to pick up copies of the texts before the course begins.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

about the course content contact Dr. Sean Griffin at, or Kelly Boyce at - (800) 282-6062 for questions about registration policies and other administrative details.

How to Register

Call the Office of Continuing Education at (406) 994-6683 or toll free (866) 540-5660.

Campus ToolsStudent E-MailDesire2LearnMy InfoMy MSU PortalMy Passwords