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The study of physical and biological aspects of the ocean is called Oceanography or Ocenology. There are wide range of domains which are studied in oceanography such as ecosystem dynamics, sea life, waves, tides, ocean currents, geology of the sea floor, plate tectonics etc. An oceanographer is a scientist who investigates ecology of marine organisms, chemistry & geology of ocean, physical attributes of ocean such as temperature, waves, tides etc. in detail. Oceanographers play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change, overpopulation, and overfishing.

Career Opportunities in Oceanography

  • Biological Oceanographers
    Biological Oceanographers study marine ecosystems, biological process of aquatic plants and animals. They research about plants and animals living in oceans, studies about their natural environment, take trips into ocean, perform experiments, collect data, and keep track of the activities of aquatic animals and plants.
  • Physical Oceanographers
    Physical Oceanographers use satellite technology as it helps them to study the movement of the water, and the forces that cause motion, such as winds, waves and tides. They also study the interaction of ocean with land, atmosphere, weather, climate, water density, temperature, salinity, underwater formations and seafloor. They seek to understand why, where and how water moves, on all space and time scales. Physical Oceanographers requires to use the combination of theory, observations and experiments to study in detail.
  • Geological Oceanographers
    Geological Oceanographers use remote sensing technology to map the ridges and valleys. They study the formations, composition and history of the seafloor. They examine sediment characteristics such as size, shape, color, weight, age, chemical characteristics, origin, distribution and transport in detail. Also, they closely work with biologists and chemical oceanographers to learn more about historical climate records, animals and plants life by examining sediment.  
  • Chemical Oceanographers
    Ocean contains many chemical compounds, elements, gases, minerals, organic and particulate matter. Chemical Oceanographers studies formation of seawater, seafloor sediments, relationships between chemical compounds, how chemical inputs to the ocean affect it, how the chemistry of the ocean is affected by the biological, geological, and physical factors. They also study the impact of pollutants when they interact with seawater and marine life.

How to Pursue a Career in Oceanography

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
Path 1
Pursue XII with Science Stream (PCB as the recommended combination)Pursue Graduation in the Biology/Physics/Chemistry/Geology/Zoology/Botany/Microbiology for 3 years.Pursue M.Sc. in Oceanography/Marine Science/Marine Biology/Marine Geology/Aquatic Biology and Fisheries for 2 yearsPursue M.Phil or PhD in Oceanography
Path 2
Pursue XII with Science Stream (PCB as the recommended combination)Pursue Bachelors of Technology for 4 years.Pursue Masters of Technology in Ocean Technology & Management/Ocean Engineering for 2 yearsPursue M.Phil or PhD in Oceanography

Important Facts

  • Must have passed class 12th or Senior Secondary Examination with at least 50% marks including English

Leading Institutes

Top Oceanography Institutes in India
College Location Website
Cochin University of Science and Technology Kerala
Andhra University Andhra Pradesh
Algappa University Tamil Nadu
Techno India University West Bengal
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Berhumpur University Orissa
Goa University Goa
University of Calcutta Kolkata
Annamalai University Tamil Nadu
Mangalore University Karnataka
University of Kerala Kerala
Karnatak University Karnataka
Top Oceanography Institutes in the World
Institution Location Website
Duke University United States
Brown University United States
University of Plymouth United Kingdom
University of Liverpool United Kingdom www.United Kingdom
Southamptan University United Kingdom
University of South Calfornia United States

Important Entrance Exams

Institution Tentative Date Important Elements Website
Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering Oct-March Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences

Work Description

  • Performing experiments, collecting data and keeping the track of the activities of plants and animals living in the ocean.
  • Studying the relationship between the chemical compounds in the sea and how it affects the ocean.
  • Measure currents, waves, tides, temperature, salt and gas concentrations other fluid movement.
  • Use satellite for collecting data such as sea temperature, currents, wave heights and patterning, and wind speeds.
  • Assist with oceanographic instrumentation system design, specification, construction, and documentation

Pros & Cons of a Career in Oceanography

  • The job profile gives you an opportunity to travel depending upon the area of oceanography research.
  • As a Oceanographer, you will always explore natural habitats.
  • You have the ability to contribute to the preservation of the life of oceans and marine life.
  • You are not always in control of your time schedule. At times, the research work can be hectic and physically demanding.
  • Oceanography requires you to invest a huge amount of time, energy, effort into studies.
  • If you have water phobia then it might be a great deal of you as most of your time will be under or near water.
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