With my Great Grandson


Dr. C. Ernest Knowles

  • Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor
  • Emeritus Associate Professor of Physical Oceanography
  • Member, Academy of Outstanding Teachers

Department of Marine, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS)

College of Science

North Carolina State University

  • Box 8208, Raleigh NC 27695-8208
  • 1125 Jordan Hall (main office)
  • Tel: (919) 515-3711 (it is best to contact me via email)
  • Fax: (919) 515-7802


Online Course Construction Milestone Report

"I've felt my ship be lifted up, and seen it tossed and twisted and heard its agonizing groan, then rode its pitching decks down again as it slammed hard into the oncoming sea". Aboard the USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) in the North Pacific, February 13, 1962.

To read the full text of this poem, go to oceanwriting, and for shipmates and vistors from the USS Lyman K. Swenson web sites who are interested in my naval career, go to Navy Duty.

If you are interested in more of my writing, go to writings. To read Rachael Carson's poem go to Sea Around Us.

For Friends and Beta brothers of Larry Knowles, you may link to the Tribute written by me and his many friends. A Memorial Service for Larry was held October 3, 2007 at the Univerity of Utah Alumni House.


I will be offering MEA 200 as an online DELTA course (Section 601) every Spring Semester and Fall Semester, and as a regular lecture class during the second session of Summer School each year. Though DELTA courses are designed for non-resident students (NDS), full-time students (DS) who wish to have flexibility in their scheduling of classes are also welcome (in fact, during the last several years, more than 95% of the enrollment has been DS). The DELTA course is offered entirely online.

MEA 200 is a true science course and, as I teach it, quite demanding at the sophomore level - I will expect a lot from you and have the goal of teaching you to think like an oceanographer - but with its successful conclusion, you will find it an invaluable course that will prepare you to think critically. There are no equations to solve, but I will expect you to be able to synthesize multiple facts to explain concepts, and I model that behavior in the way that my lessons are presented. I have the advantage of using the ocean to teach you science as much as I will use science to teach you about the ocean. You will take four exams and complete 32 written HW assignments using Moodle.

Also, from my more than 4 decades of teaching experience, I have found that the vast majority of suspended students find the course material too demanding and drop or fail the class, so I don't recommend that they register.

ONCE REGISTERED for either of these courses, direct access to the internet course syllabus and lessons will be at where you will link to my MOODLE course. Access to the web course homepage and lessons also is restricted to registered students (you will be asked for your unityid and password).

AN EXAMPLE OF A WEB LESSON may be viewed by going to Ocean Circulation.


MEA 210 is NOT TAUGHT over the internet (you will have to register through TRACS for one of the regular sessions and will have to be able to come to the campus). I have no responsibility for the laboratory class.

Taking MEA 200 does not require you to take MEA 210. Only if you are using MEA 200 as a science elective that requires a lab course do you need to also take MEA 210 (either during or after the semester in which you take MEA 200) - you should check with your advisor.

Students can determine the start date of labs, lab updates and lab exercises at


For the Report on the project that produced my MEA 200 web course, including the project background, goals and objectives; a description of the course and initial evaluations; problems and suggestions for taking a course online; and guidelines for taking a course online, go to Milestone Report.