What is Oceanography?

Oceanography is the study of the deep sea and shallow coastal oceans: biology, chemistry, geology and physics together make oceanography a richly interdisciplinary science. Although they contain most of the Earth's water and carbon and surface heat, and much of its biomass, the oceans do not operate alone. Together with the atmosphere, continents and ice-cover (the cryosphere), they form a working machine, driven mostly by energy from the sun. Lesser amounts of energy derive from tides raised by the moon and sun and planets, and heat from the Earth"s interior.

Career Titles:

Government research scientist
College Professor
Geological oceanographer
Physical oceanographer
Chemical oceanographers
Marine Geochemists
Marine biologist
Fisheries scientist
Ocean engineer
Marine archaeologist
Marine policy expert
Aquatic chemist
Ocean driller
Ocean miner and gas exploration
Coastal geologist
Naval research
Conservation specialist
Atmospheric scientist and climate researcher
Public policy writer
Marine mammal scientist

Major Skills:

Computer skills
Problem solving
Communication – verbal and written
Practical skills for experiments and operating scientific equipment
Knowledge of ocean and marine environment
Knowledge of fluid mechanics
Ability to cope with extreme conditions
Additional languages a plus

Job/Internship Links:

Advancing the Science of Limnology and Oceanography


Conservation Job Board

Dolphin Research Center Internships

Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation job, funding & scholarship opportunities

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission jobs and internships

New England Aquarium internship program

Sea Grant Mid-Atlantic internships and jobs

Dolphins Plus internship

CIEE Research Station Bonaire

Society for Ecological & Coastal Research Internship

SeaWorld internships

Whale Center of New England internships


Professional Associations:

Advancing the Science of Limnology and Oceanography 

Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation

The Oceanography  Society

List of professional associations

Career Planning Links:

University of British Columbia, Dept of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Oceanography at Palomar College

Sea Grant Marine Careers

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Water Encyclopedia: Careers in Oceanography


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