We inhabit a water planet. The bible tells us about the nature of the earth and its formation and then sculpting by water from the very beginning:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2
This deep and these waters are of the same kind that burst forth and that fell from the sky to reform the earth during the global judgement, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”- Genesis 7:11-12
This pale blue dot we have been mercifully placed upon is incomprehensible apart from water in all its forms. In fact our distance from the sun, the angle of earth’s tilt, and even the shape of our planet’s orbit around the sun along with water’s remarkable properties all contribute to the workings of the marvelous water cycle. Studying the properties of water is a fun and easily accessible way to start your ocean explorations with the whole family. You can read the Genesis creation account and the first few paragraphs of this post to get the family into the spirit of adventure for your study of the earth’s oceans!
A great way to start is by watching the documentary, Privileged Planet, by Illustra Media. You can buy the DVD or stream it on demand. This film captures the essence of the water planet and can be used over and over again to help us understand the various physical properties of the earth and its placement that make complex life possible. After this introduction you will want to have a primary reference book to launch your adventure from. It could be this post or probably more helpfully it will be a textbook or web resource. Possible primary reference are marked with an asterisk below. After selecting your primary reference topic start by gaining an understanding of water and the physical properties of our oceans from the list of resources below.
Overview of Water & Physical Marine Science Topics and Introductory Resources
- Water’s properties (Physical Science): phases of matter, solutions and solvents, cohesion, adhesion, and more; USGS Water School; Phet Simulations; Next Generation Molecular Workbench
- The Water Cycle (Physical Science, Natural Resources, Ecology): Precipitation Education; USGS Water School
- Water Chemistry: polarity, hydrogen bonds, acids and bases; Chemistry for Kids; Open, college-level water chemistry course here
- The Oceans: An Introduction – Open Courses; free enrollment; excellent introduction for junior high and high school; if you have an advanced high school student, consider Open Yale Courses
- Ocean MOOC (Massive Open Online Course*): produced live in 2016-17, all materials are archived; Module 1: One Planet, One Ocean
- Textbook suggestions: Marine Biology* by Apologia
Music: play some epic ocean compositions while you learn, play, and study!