Careers in Ocean Science
Careers in oceanography, oceanology, marine science, and ocean science involve the same subfield of earth science. There are research jobs in marine biology, which includes the interaction of plants and animals with the ecosystem. A career in marine chemistry involves studying the chemistry of the oceans and their chemical interaction with the atmosphere. There are also jobs in marine geology and marine physics. A marine physicist might study the ocean's physical attributes such as its temperature-salinity structure and the behavior of sound, light, and radio waves in oceans. There are many jobs in oceanography with companies involved in building and designing oil platforms, ships, and harbors. A career in oceanographic data management would involve ensuring that oceanographic data both past and present are available to researchers.
Any organization involved in global warming and climate changes might have a job for an individual with a background in ocean science because the atmosphere and ocean are linked by evaporation, precipitation, and thermal flux. Also, wind is a major driver of ocean currents and the ocean is a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide.
There are many national and international organizations that provide career opportunities. UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission has a tsunami warning system to protect vulnerable regions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce. There are jobs at NOAA requiring the study of dangerous weather and charting seas and skies. There are hundreds of jobs conducting research with the aid of oceanographic research vessels and shore-based laboratories at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, located in La Jolla, California. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, nonprofit research and higher education facility with staff and students numbering about 1,000. Scientists and engineers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, with an operating budget of $40,000,000 per year and three research vessels, conducts a large variety of research projects ranging from studies on the molecular biology of bioluminescence to investigations describing global climate change. The Naval Oceanographic Office is comprised of approximately 1,000 civilian, military, and contract personnel responsible for providing oceanographic products and services to all elements within the Department of Defense. Valued by maritime interests worldwide, this organization acquires and analyzes global ocean and littoral data to provide specialized, operationally significant products and services for civilian, national, and international customers.