Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Oceanography: Exploring Earth's Final
for the excellent in-depth overview of life in the ocean.

Exploring Earth's Final Wilderness
Lectures by Professor Harold J. Tobin

Oceanography: Exploring Earth's Final Wilderness
(2011) - 36 lectures, 18 hours
Oceanography: Exploring Earth's Final Wilderness at

Earth's ocean is a source of wonder, delight, sustenance, economic benefit, and awe in the face of its overwhelming mystery and power. It dominates the natural world in ways that scientists are only now beginning to understand. And although we call our home planet Earth, it would be more accurate to name it Ocean, since 71% of the globe is covered with water, and beneath the waves churn forces that make our world unique in the solar system:

  • Along mid-ocean ridges, lava flows from Earth's interior, forming new oceanic crust and driving the formation and movement of continents via the crucial process of plate tectonics.
  • The ocean's tremendous mass and thermal inertia serve as a climate control thermostat, moderating temperatures and making the planet habitable.
  • Life began in the ocean and was exclusively marine for billions of years; we owe our oxygen-rich atmosphere to the photosynthetic activity of oceanic organisms.

But for all its importance, the ocean hides its secrets, and it is only with the advent of new sounding and sampling techniques, satellite sensors, and deep sea submersibles that its riddles are being solved, shedding light on a domain that is breathtaking in its complexity and beauty.

Oceanography: Exploring Earth's Final Wilderness takes you on a scientific expedition to fathom the ocean's mysteries in 36 intensively illustrated half-hour lectures delivered by ocean scientist and Professor Harold J. Tobin of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, a researcher who has visited and mapped landscapes on the seabed that no human eyes had ever seen before.

Oceanography encompasses a wide range of fields, from biology and ecology, to geology, meteorology, chemistry, physics, and ocean engineering. No background in science is needed to follow these lectures, which provide a thorough appreciation for the ocean as a system that is arguably more intricate and fascinating than the continents, not least because it is a world that is fully three-dimensional, from the tidal zone to the deepest point on the ocean floor.

Piecing Together the Puzzle of the Ocean

Professor Tobin compares the exciting discoveries in oceanography in the past half-century to the exploration of a previously unknown planet. Scientists have been amazed again and again at what they've learned about the world beneath the waves. In these compelling lectures, you relive those discoveries, assembling the many pieces of the puzzle to gain a comprehensive picture of how the ocean works and how it affects the atmosphere, continents, and the web of life.

Professor Harold J. Tobin, Professor of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is an expert in oceanography and a veteran oceangoing explorer. A Fellow of the Geological Society of America, his fascinating insights into the ocean depths have been featured on the Discovery Channel's Science Channel and The History Channel. Professor Tobin has been a Joint Oceanographic Institutions Distinguished Lecturer and has won a Best Instructor award from the students of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

30 Lectures - 32 minutes each

1: Diving In—The Ocean Adventure 19: Soft-Bodied Life in the Dark, Open Depths
2: Explorers, Navigators, Pioneering Scientists 20: Swimming—The Many Fish in the Sea
3: Ocean Basics and Ocean Basins 21: Marine Birds, Reptiles, and Mammals
4: Mapping the Sea—Soundings to Satellites 22: Whaling, Fisheries, and Farming the Ocean
5: Habitats—Sunlit Shelves to the Dark Abyss 23: Where Sea Meets the Land and Why Coasts Vary
6: The Spreading Sea Floor and Mid-Ocean Ridges 24: Where Rivers Meet the Sea—Estuaries and Deltas
7: The Plunging Sea Floor and Deep-Sea Trenches 25: Coastal Erosion—Beaches and Sea Cliffs
8: The Formation of the Earth and Its Ocean 26: Tidal Life, Sea Forests, and Coral Reefs
9: The Early Ocean and the Origins of Life 27: Deep Bottom Life and Hydrothermal Vents
10: Marine Sediments—Archives of the Ocean 28: Trade Winds—The Circulation of Heat and Wind
11: Offshore Oil and Gas—Resources and Risks 29: Heavy Weather—Storms and Hurricanes
12: The Enduring Chemistry of Seawater 30: The Gulf Stream to Gyres—Vast Surface Currents
13: How the Physics of Water Controls the Ocean 31: Upwelling, Downwelling, and El Niño
14: Waves—Motion in the Ocean 32: The Deepest, Slowest River—Polar Bottom Water
15: Rogue Waves and Tsunami 33: The Ocean and Global Climate
16: Tides in Theory and Practice 34: The Warming, Rising Sea
17: Marine Life, Energy, and Food Webs 35: Marine Pollution—The Impact of Toxins
18: Tiny Plankton—The Most Abundant Life on Earth 36: The Future Ocean

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Exploring Earth's Final Wilderness

Lectures by Professor Harold J. Tobin

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Oceanography: Exploring Earth's Final
for the excellent in-depth overview of life in the ocean.