OCEANOGRAPHY


These were the REQUIREMENTS before the REVISIONS
which were made on January 1, 2004.

To see the current requirements Click Here


  1. Name four branches of oceanography. Describe at least five reasons why it is important for people to learn about the oceans.
  2. Define salinity, temperature, and density, and describe how these important properties of seawater are measured by the physical oceanographer. Discuss the circulation and currents of the ocean. Describe the effects of the oceans on weather and climate.
  3. Describe the characteristics of ocean waves. Point out the differences among the storm surge, tsunami, tidal wave, and tidal bore. Explain the difference between sea, swell, and surf. Explain how breakers are formed.
  4. Draw a cross-section of underwater topography. Show what is meant by:
    1. Continental shelf
    2. Continental slope
    3. Abyssal plain

    Name and put on your drawing the following: seamount, guyot, rift valley, canyon, trench, and oceanic ridge. Compare the depths in the oceans with the heights of mountains on land.

  5. List the main salts, gases, and nutrients in sea water. Describe the importance of these to life in the sea. What is meant by Dittmar's principle? Why is it important?
  6. Describe some of the biologically important properties of seawater. Define benthos, nekton, and plankton. Name some of the plants and animals that make up each of these groups. Describe the place and importance of phytoplankton in the oceanic food chain.
  7. Do ONE of the following:
    1. (a) *Make a plankton net. Tow the net by a dock, wade with it, hold it in a current, or tow it from a rowboat. Do this for about 20 minutes. Save the sample. Examine it under a microscope or high-power glass. Identify the three most common types of plankton in the sample.
    2. Make a series of models (clay or plaster and wood) of a volcanic island. Show the growth of an atoll from a fringing reef through a barrier reef. Describe the Darwinian theory of coral reef formation.
    3. *Measure the water temperature 1 foot below the surface of a body of water four times daily (8 A.M., noon, 4 P.M., and 8 P.M.) for 6 consecutive days. Measure the air temperature. Note the cloud cover and roughness of the water. Show your findings on a graph. Tell how the water temperature changes with air temperature.
    4. Make a model showing the inshore sediment movement by littoral currents, tidal movement, and wave action. Include such things as high and low waterlines, low tide terrace, berm, and coastal cliffs. Show how the offshore bars are built up and torn down.
    5. Make a wave generator. Show reflection and refraction of waves. Show how groins, jetties, and breakwaters affect these patterns.
  8. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Write a 500-word report on a book about oceanography approved by your counselor.
    2. Visit one of the following: (1) an oceanographic research ship, or (2) an oceanographic institute. Write a 500-word report about your visit.
    3. Explain to your troop in a 5 minute prepared speech "Why Oceanography Is Important" or describe "Jobs in Oceanography." (Before making your speech, show your speech outline to your counselor for approval.)

* May be done in lakes or streams.


BSA Advancement ID#: 79
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1993
Requirements last updated in 1995


Page updated on: May 02, 2013



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