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Career focus: Oceanography

Oceanography, the science involved in the study of oceans is a relatively young discipline, shaped by a continual flow of exciting discoveries. It looks at all aspects of the ocean, their boundaries and their continents.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2006 11:54 IST

Oceanography, the science involved in the study of oceans is a relatively young discipline, shaped by a continual flow of exciting discoveries. It looks at all aspects of the ocean, their boundaries and their continents.

To be more specific, oceanography is the study of the seas, its coastline, estuaries, coastal waters, shelves and the ocean bed. Being a profession that is highly technology oriented, it offers immense scope for those specialising in different scientific disciplines like Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology and Physics.

Oceanography is today of great significance to developing countries. A career in this area is really a challenging one and it provides opportunities to those with intrinsic curiosity and a desire to venture into the vast unexplored realm within our oceans.

Oceanographers apply the basic sciences to study the world’s oceans and coastal waters. They study the motion and circulation of the ocean waters and their physical and chemical properties, and how these properties affect coastal areas, climate, and weather. Often, they are chemists, physicists, biologists, or geologists who bring their special skills to ocean studies.

Oceanography offers opportunities in the following fields-
Biological Oceanographers and Marine Biologists study the flora and fauna of the oceans, what controls their numbers and kinds. They examine how marine organisms develop, relate to one another and adapt to their environment.

Chemical Oceanographers and Marine Chemists study the composition of seawater, its processes and cycles, and the chemical interaction of seawater with the atmosphere and seafloor and organisms.

Geological Oceanographers and Marine Geologists explore the ocean floor and the processes that lead to the formation of mountains, canyons, and valleys. They look at millions of years of history of the seafloor, plate tectonics, and oceanic circulation and climates. They also examine undersea volcanic processes, mantle circulation, hydrothermal circulation, magma genesis, and crustal formation.