What does an Oceanographer (Geoscientist) do?
An oceanographer has biological, chemical, geological, and physical specialties to the study of the ocean. An oceanographer has extensive knowledge of the ocean and it’s biology, geology, physics, and chemistry and constantly strives to learn about more of it’s secrets and processes.
How to Become an Oceanographer
An oceanographer would need an undergraduate degree in a science-based subject. Many go further to hold a postgraduate degree, especially in a specialized field like a physical oceanographer who studies physics at a degreed level and then obtains an master’s degree in oceanography. Field work is usually required as part of the course studies and many would receive on-the-job training.
Job Description of an Oceanographer
An oceanographer explores the world oceans to understand it’s processes and mysteries. This includes plate tectonics, chemical and physical properties, marine life, ecosystems, geology of the sea floor, and ocean circulation. They want to investigate issues like eroding coastlines, climate change, or declining fisheries so they can learn from the information collected.
An oceanographer may choose to specialize in his or her field as in a biology or marine biologist who is more interested in the study of animals and plants and in the marine arena. They may choose geological oceanography and marine geology that finds the reason that mountains, valleys, and canyons form.
This specialty would also cover volcanic processes and mantel circulation. There is the chemical oceanographer too, that studies the seawater and it’s composition, chemical interaction of seawater with the seafloor, and the atmosphere and it’s cycles and processes. They observe the ocean currents and use chemistry to find how it moves seawater around the world or if the climate is affected by it.
The other field of specialty is the physical oceanographer that delves into the mysteries of the ocean’s waves, tides, coastal erosion, and other physical processes and conditions. They are devoted to the understanding of the transmission of light and sound through water, how climate and weather may be influenced, and other of the ocean’s physical interactions.
All oceanographers have the knowledge of biology, physics and chemistry, as well as geology. They desire to understand the ocean’s secrets and mysteries. This career tests various aspects of the ocean and conducts research using their skills with apparatus on moored or drifting buoys, remote sensors on satellites, probes lowered into the sea, or instruments on self-powered or towed submersibles. They drill into the seabed and collect valuable data that helps to understand the effects of offshore engineering on marine eco systems and the impact of pollution.
An oceanographer works a variety of hours depending on his or her current project or study. They work in laboratories or offices and also in field-work that can stretch for days or even months at a time while at sea on offshore platforms or research ships. An oceanographer should be knowledgeable in mathematics and science.
They should be problem solvers and have optimal physical health and/or fitness in order to be able to do strenuous field work. They have the ability to communicate clearly, both orally and written and to work well along-side others or by his or her self.
This occupation is considered hazardous and physically demanding and the oceanographer may be required to be in remote locations to conduct research, ocean explorations, and data collecting.