Skip to main content

SmithsonianX: Our Global Ocean – An Introduction Course

Our ocean is vast, mysterious, and key to all life on our planet. This short course will introduce you to the basics of our ocean, marine life, and the connection between humans and our ocean.

Our Global Ocean – An Introduction Course
5 weeks
1–2 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
This course is archived

About this course

Skip About this course

In the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, our goal is to teach the public that that the ocean is a global system essential to all life on our planet, including yours. In this course, we will explore the ocean from the coast to the deep sea, and from our planet’s beginnings to its function today. Though this course, you will discover why we truly live on an “ocean planet,” as well as your role in our shared responsibility to protect our global ocean and all of the life it supports.


This short course was developed by Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History educators and reviewed by scientists at the Smithsonian and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • The basics of oceanography - including currents, circulation, abiotic conditions, ecosystems, and zonation
  • An introduction to paleoceanography and the evolutionary history of marine life
  • An overview of marine biodiversity – including marine species, classification systems, and how biodiversity is represented in museum collections
  • Examples of how humans are impacting the health of the ocean and steps being taken to address these impacts

Interested in this course for your business or team?

Train your employees in the most in-demand topics, with edX For Business.