What is an Oceanographer

Are you interested in a job involving marine life and the ocean? An oceanography position might be just the thing for you. Oceanographer jobs encompass many fields dealing directly with the marine world. Oceanographers work with water quality, currents and tides, biology, and the physical features of the ocean as well as shipping, minerals and fishing industries.

Oceanographer jobs are offered at the federal, state, and local levels. In addition, many research foundations concerned with environmental health have positions for entry level and advanced oceanographers. This field addresses the composition, inhabitants, and health of the ocean from the smallest organism to the biggest ship plying the waves of the sea.

Four main areas of oceanography deal with different aspects of this field of science. These include geological oceanographers, biological oceanographers, physical oceanographers, and marine scientists. Remember that oceanographers are specialists in everything that touches the marine environment so these four general fields aren’t the total extent of this profession. Oceanography is a very niche-oriented professional with detailed specialization in one part of the field.

Geological oceanographers evaluate and study the processes of the earth below the oceans. In addition, this field addresses ocean features such as sedimentation, erosion, ocean floor topography and oceanic volcanic activity. This type of oceanographer also studies plate tectonics as well as underwater earthquakes.

If you’re specialty or area of interest includes biology, then a biological oceanographer position might be just the thing for you. Biological oceanographers study ocean life and how marine life adapts to a changing environment. This field also includes species interaction and how each affects the entire oceanic system.

Physical oceanographers examine the tides and currents of the ocean. Within this movement of water lies pollutants, chemicals and heat. Physical oceanographers study how the ocean and its contents affect the climate in addition to how the physical movement of water affects the ocean itself. This job focuses on the physical movement of the ocean water as well as water conditions.

Marine Scientists (also called chemical oceanographers) perform studies of the chemical composition of sea water. They evaluate seawater and how pollutants affect it. This field requires chemistry and biology experience and an understanding of the importance of the ocean to the overall health of the earth. Chemical oceanographers address issues from extrusion of sediments in the water to the affect of pollution on the composition of sea water. This field encompasses many areas such as marine chemistry and the chemical cycles of the ocean.