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History of Aquatic Science. This unit will give an introduction to the history of oceanic exploration and the major events & discoveries that shaped the course of Aquatic Science. On the following slides, the green sections are the most important. Underline words = vocabulary!.

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history of aquatic science
History of Aquatic Science
  • This unit will give an introduction to the history of oceanic exploration and the major events & discoveries that shaped the course of Aquatic Science.
  • On the following slides, the green sections are the most important.
  • Underline words = vocabulary!
aquatic science
Aquatic Science
  • What is Aquatic Science?
  • The study of all water environments, and the plants, animals, and organisms that live in them.


  • About ¾ of our Earth is water; without water,life on Earth as we know it would not exist.
  • The ocean is one of our last frontiers – the last places to discover.
  • Since the beginning of time human kind has required water for survival.


the ocean
The Ocean
  • Through the study of the world’s oceans, we:
  • Enjoy recreation
  • Explore aquatic animals & plants
  • Find food
  • Get our weather systems
  • Learn the history of the planet
  • Mine for minerals, oil & building materials
  • Trade between countries
  • Transport goods and people
areas of study in aquatic science
Areas of Study in Aquatic Science
  • Physical: currents, tides, waves, pressure, temperature, depth, density, as relating to weather phenomenon
  • Geological: history of the Earth, seafloor features, sediments, changes over time
  • Chemical: evolution and composition of seawater, its influences on animal and plant life, and impact of water pollution on the environment
  • Biological: plants, animals and their ecosystems (life cycles, food chains, and environments)
  • What is oceanography?
  • A multiscience field encompassing geology, geophysics, chemistry, physics, meteorology, and biology as they pertain to marine ecosystems.


marine biology
Marine Biology
  • Marine Biology – the study of marine organisms, their behaviors, and interactions with the environment.
  • Aquaculture – the management of fisheries and hatcheries, where fish eggs are incubated and hatched.
setting up your timeline
Setting up Your Timeline
  • Take a sheet of legal sized paper.
  • Fold the sheet along the Y axis (skinny) and cut along the fold.
  • Tape the two ends of the paper together to make one long strip for the timeline.
  • Use the meter stick/ruler to draw a line down the center of the paper.
  • Create a key in the lower left hand corner:
    • 1 cm = 100 years
egyptian technology
The Egyptians established sea tradethroughoutthe Indian Ocean as early as 2300 B.C.

1938 - 1756 B.C. a canal was built, the Isthmus of Suez, to navigate ships across land.

The canal operated until 775 A.D.

Egyptian Technology


the phoenicians
The Phoenicians
  • Phoenicians: (from the Middle East) Sailed around Africa in 590 B.C.

A stone carving from the 1st century AD shows the kind of ship that the Phoenicians used on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Granger Collection, New York



the greeks
The Greeks
  • Herodotus (a Greek):published an accurate map (see below) of the Mediterranean region, 450 B.C.
  • Greeks: Developed trade routesthroughout the Mediterranean and expanded their empire under Alexander the Great, 336 B.C.


amazing math
200 B.C. – the Greek Eratosthenesmathematically calculated the circumference of the Earth to be 40,000 km.

The circumference is 40,032 km.

2,200 years ago his math was good enough to be off only 32 km!

Amazing Math!

Eratosthenes knew that at noon on the summer solstice the Sun is directly overhead at Syene (a city)….He also knew the distance between Syene and Alexandria (another city), which, combined with his measurement of the solar angle a between the Sun and the vertical, enabled him to calculate Earth's circumference.

From Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

the arabs
The Arabs
  • 200 B.C Islamic and Arab Merchants: traded throughout the Mediterranean andIndian Oceans.
  • They are believed to have invented the lateen sail, the triangular sail important in early navigation.


in the middle ages
In the Middle Ages
  • 900 A.D. The Vikings crossed the North Atlantic to colonize Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland using the North Star to determine latitude.

Exhumed Viking ship;

Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, Norway. Image

15 th and 16 th centuries
15th and 16th Centuries
  • Chinese: Sailed to influence and impress their neighbors.
  • 1492 Columbus: Sailing for Spain, sailed the Atlantic and “discovered” the America’s.
  • 1497 Vasco da Gama: Sailing for Portugal, sailed around Africa from Portugal to India to establish trade routes.
  • Europeans searched for the Northwest passage through northern Canada to trade with Asia; and explored the Artic.
around the world in
Around the World in…
  • 1519 - Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellanwas on the 1st European expedition to circumnavigate (travel all around) the world.
  • 237 men began the voyage; only 18 returned.
  • Magellan actually died before the journey was finished, but his crew returnedin 1522.


benjamin franklin
Benjamin Franklin
  • 1762- The American Ben Franklin created a chart of the Gulf Stream.
  • The Gulf Streamgives the US its warm climate, bringing warm water north from the equator.


harrison cook
Harrison & Cook
  • 1728 - Device invented by John Harrison (a carpenter) who was paid by the British government; a chronometer is a device that calculates longitude.
  • 1768 - The English explorer Captain James Cook made 3 voyages to chart the Pacific Ocean.
  • He was the first to use a chronometerfor navigation.


charles darwin
Charles Darwin
  • In 1831Charles Darwin took his voyage on the ship the HMS Beagle which led to his book “The Origin of Species” and the theories of evolution.


matthew maury
Matthew Maury
  • U.S. Navy’s Lt. Matthew Maury, called the Father of Modern Oceanography, made charts and sailing directionsand wrote the first book of oceanography in 1855.
  • A Monument in Richmond, VA named him “Pathfinder of the Seas”.


the challenger
From 1872 to 1876, the ship HMS Challenger Expedition led by Sir Charles Wyville Thomsongathered more data in its time than all other data to date.

It was this voyage that discovered the world’s deepest ocean trench, the Marianas Trench, now sometimes called the Challenger Deep.

The Challenger


20 th century
1898 – The world wars were the catalyst for US oceanographic research; invention of the 1st gas engine & battery powered submarine bought by US government in 1900.

Development of technology including electronic equipment, deep sea drilling programs, (1916) SONAR, use of GPS (global positioning system) and satellites.

20th Century


the meteor
The Meteor
  • The Meteor Expedition: mapped the ocean floor and features.
  • 1925-1927 - The German Meteor expedition surveys the South Atlantic with echo-sounding equipment


the trieste
The Trieste
  • On January 23, 1960, the bathyscaph (small submarine) Trieste reached the greatest oceanic depth existing on our planet.
  • Don Walsh and Jacques Picard (US navy) piloted the Trieste to the deepest part of the trench (35,797ft > 6.5miles) .


Designed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and built in 1962,Alvinhastraveled around the world completing 4,162 dives.

Alvin has mechanical arms and in 1966 helped to locate a H-bomb that was lost in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1979, Alvinand its crew discovered black smokers on the sea floor.



the glomar challenger
The Glomar Challenger
  • 1968 – The Glomar Challenger, a drilling vessel that proved seafloor spreading and changes in the earth’s climate by taking core samples from the sea floor.


view from space
View from Space
  • 1985 – JASON, a satellite found and documented the wreck of the Titanic.


the japanese
The Japanese
  • 1989 - Japan launched the Shinkai 6500 which can carry a crew up to 21,414 ft deep into the ocean (a world record).


21 st century
21st Century
  • In 2006, a Chinese mineral company(COMRA) designed a craft to reach 23,000 ft.


how do we study the ocean
How do we study the ocean?
  • Types of Research Vessels:
  • Submersibles– small underwater vehicles
  • ROV– remotely operated vehicle
  • Bathysphere – is lowered by a cable from a ship
  • Drilling ships – which take sediment cores
  • Floating and Fixed platforms (FLIP – floating instrument platform) to gather data like temperature, salinity, density, and weather patterns
other research instruments
Other Research Instruments
  • Airplanes
  • Satellites – SEASAT: 1st satellite dedicated to ocean studies
  • Echosounding
  • Underwater cameras
  • Side scan sonar – great for sunken ships


in conclusion
In Conclusion
  • The ocean represents the Earth’s last frontier for exploration and the key to understanding the future of our planet.
  • The human race depends on the life and sustainability of the ocean for economic, biological, and environmental stability.
  • The world of Aquatic science is ever reaching for new discoveries in this blue realm.