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EAOS111 Earth and Ocean Science

Your introduction to planet Earth, inside and out. The origin of our universe, oceans, mountains, climate change, and mass extinctions: it’s all connected. Three field trips including a research cruise.

This multidisciplinary paper commences with an overview of our place on planet Earth, the solar system, and deep space. It then covers a vast number of topics by way of the unifying theme of Earth "spheres"; Atmosphere, Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Cryosphere, and Biosphere. Topics such as climate and atmospheric/oceanic circulation, plate tectonics and associated hazards, weathering and erosion/deposition, past and present life, glaciers and ice sheets, and the impact of humans on the planet are covered. Students will finish the course with a holistic understanding of planet Earth, and a good feel for topics worth pursuing at more advanced levels.

Paper title Earth and Ocean Science
Paper code EAOS111
Subject Earth and Ocean Science
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Schedule C
EAOS111 is required for students taking Geology as a major or minor subject, and is recommended for students wishing to enter Marine Science studies at a later stage.

Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Dr Christian Ohneiser

Paper Structure

Lectures cover the following themes:

  • Our place in space: humanity on earth, earth in the universe
  • The geosphere: our dynamic earth
  • Earth's surface: where the geosphere meets the hydrosphere
  • The hydrosphere and the atmosphere: a tightly coupled system
  • The cryosphere: Ice distribution, dynamics, and trends
  • The biosphere: life on earth

View the latest course schedule here

Teaching Arrangements

4 lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week.
Fieldwork: Two 1-day field trips (there is a choice of Saturday or Sunday) to North Otago and Taieri Plains.

The Blue Planet: An Introduction to Earth System Science 3rd Edition by Brian J Skinner & Barbara W Murck (2011), J Wiley & Sons Inc.
Course outline

View the latest course syllabus here (previous syllabus indicative of content next time the paper is taught).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Understand and describe the processes that shape Earth's surface, interior and oceans
  • Draw connections between the various components of the Earth system
  • Apply concepts introduced in lectures and laboratories to field settings
  • Understand the concept of geologic time in relation to physical and biological systems
  • Understand the physical and biological controls on the distribution of Earth materials and make predictions based on this understanding

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 12:00-12:50 9-14, 16-22
Tuesday 12:00-12:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Thursday 12:00-12:50 9-14, 16-22
Friday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Monday 14:00-16:50 9-14, 16-22
P2 Tuesday 09:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
P3 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
P4 Wednesday 09:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22
P5 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 9-14, 16-22
P6 Thursday 09:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22
P7 Thursday 14:00-16:50 9-14, 16-22