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Oceanography: a key to better understand our world is a Course

Oceanography: a key to better understand our world

Ended Jul 30, 2015

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Full course description

Starts April 20,2015

Oceanography: a key to a better understanding of our world

You can also follow this course in Spanish and Catalan.

The course for a round the world regatta leads the boats through the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic, Southern Indian and South Pacific Oceans. On their voyage, the skippers come across a large variety of oceanographic situations: strong currents, floating ice, wave formations of every kind and biological diversity.

In this course the student will learn about the foundations of the science of oceanography. You'll learn about the classification and formation of the ocean floor, how current sea satellite analysis systems work, the chemistry of the oceans and the processes that led to its formation.

Course structure

The course is structured around five modules:

  • Module 1 - The Mediterranean: an ocean model.
  • Module 2 - The global ocean: a moving fluid, a water source, a planetary heating system and a sea full of life.
  • Module 3 - Satellite oceanography: all eyes on the planet.
  • Module 4 - Ocean chemistry: a chemical industry of pipes without walls.
  • Module 5 - The ocean basin: an ongoing archive, stretching back millions of years.

To follow this course does not require previous knowledge of oceanography.

When students finish the course they may, if they wish, obtain a certificate of completion from the University of Barcelona. Access to this exam is subject to a 55 € fee.

For more information about the course, please visit the Barcelona World Race website.

Projects associated with the Barcelona World Race 2014/15:

During the Barcelona World Race the skippers also become scientific agents, collaborating on oceanographic research projects with the UNESCO-IOC.

Measurement of salinity levels and the temperature of surface seawater, headed up by the oceanographer from the Spanish National Research Council's (CSIC) Institute of Sea Sciences (ICM) Jordi Salat.

The measurement of the levels of microplastics in seawater, headed up by Salvador Borros, in collaboration with the Institut Quimic Sarrià (IQS) and the The Spanish National Research Council's (CSIC) Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM) and the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona FNOB.

The deployment of ARGO floats, in collaboration with JCOMMOPS, the UNESCO - IOC and the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB).

Citclops Project, optical monitoring of the transparency, colour and fluorescence of the surface of the sea, in collaboration with Citclops (Citizen’s Observatory for Coast and Ocean Optical Monitoring) from the 7th Framework Programme at the European Commission, the Barcelona Digital Technology Centre Foundation (BDigital) and the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB).


Oceanography: a key to a better understanding of our world is a Barcelona World Race Ocean Campus course.

The Barcelona World Race Ocean Campus is an initiative by the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB) and the University of Barcelona (UB).

Take this course in Catalan! 

Take this course in Spanish

Jordi Serra

Dr. Jordi Serra

Course Coordinator & Instructor

Jordi Serra is a marine geologist, Professor of Marine Geosciences and founder of the presently Marine Geosciences Group at the University of Barcelona (Spain). His extensive experience in marine and coastal systems research and management are evident in the fields of marine and sediment dynamics, estuarine and deltaic erosion processes and near shore and offshore resources amongst others. He has participated in a large number of studies and international projects, such as Eurosion (the erosion trends of european coasts) or the evolution of Rio de la Plata Estuary from the Holocene sea level rise.

Jordi Flos

Dr. Jordi Flos


Professor of Ecology at the University of Barcelona, his main field of research is biological oceanography, especially on interactions between physics and biology in planktonic ecosystems, mostly in the coastal area. He has also worked in fields as diverse as theoretical ecology and scientific communication and informal education through museum exhibitions. He has conducted technical studies on coastal management and environmental quality of coastal waters. Currently he is coordinator of the master on Oceanography and management of the marine environment of the UB, where he teaches Descriptive Oceanography.

Jordi Salat

Dr. Jordi Salat


Jordi Salat is a mathematician working as oceanographer at the Marine Sciences Institute in Barcelona (Spain). With more than 30 years of experience in field studies of ocean dynamics, water masses and air-sea interactions. He has been involved in a wide range of marine studies and international projects on: operational oceanography, fisheries, climate and physical-biological interactions in natural marine ecosystems. He has also been developing methodological tools for: long-term hydrographic data analysis, oceanographic and biological data processing, population dynamics, morphometric analyses and bioeconomical models.

Jordi Font

Dr. Jordi Font


Jordi Font obtained a Ph.D. (1986) in Physics in the University of Barcelona. He has 40 years of experience in oceanography, mainly in the Mediterranean Sea, and in the last 20 years he has been increasingly focused on the remote observation of the ocean and the use of satellite measurements in physical oceanography. At present he is Research Professor and Head of Department at the Physical and Technological Oceanography Department of the Institut de Ciències del Mar (Spanish Research Council, CSIC), Barcelona. He has lectured in several postgraduate courses and participated in different training schools.

Isabel Cacho

Dr. Isabel Cacho


PhD in Geology, senior lecturer and researcher within Grup de Geociències Marines from the Universidad de Barcelona. Received the ICREA Academia award 2012. Specialist in the study of past climate change through the analysis of deep marine sediments. Her research career has also been developed in the University of Cambridge (UK) and other universities from the States and Germany. Her intense research activity includes more than 50 publications in international journals of high impact, 20 oceanographical cruises, she has participated in more than 40 research projects at national and international level with a prominent role as a coordinator. She also has experience in national and international research committees such as SOLAS (Surface Ocean and Lower Atmosphere Studies) and CLIVAR (Climate Variability).