Oceanographer Job Description

The earth is composed of three-fourths of water. The way people live on earth is greatly affected by the oceans in the world. The earth’s water can give and take life. It is important that the water on earth is studied to determine its effects on the way how life should be lived on earth in order to survive. An Oceanographer is the expert scientist who studies the earth’s water.

What is an Oceanographer?

An Oceanographer is a scientist who uses mathematics and science to study and explain the intricate interactions between fresh water, seawater, polar ice caps, the biosphere and the atmosphere. This may involve in areas such as weather prediction, pollution, shipping, fisheries, mineral exploitation, coastal construction, renewable energy and climate change.

Duties of an Oceanographer

There are specialized kinds of Oceanographers namely Physical, Geological and Chemical Oceanographers but the following duties are the general responsibilities of an Oceanographer:

  • An Oceanographer is tasked to gather samples and data from the ocean, ocean floor or atmosphere with the use of specialized techniques and equipment. Such samples and data collected will be analyzed for normal or contaminant composition.
  • It is the responsibility of the Oceanographer to look at matter and life forms found in the sea such as trace minerals; perform simulations of sea phenomena with the sue of mathematical or computer models; use statistical models of field and laboratory information to examine the hypotheses and create predictions; analyze and interpret data from collected samples, measurements, and isolated sensing aids.
  • An Oceanographer is obligated to take part in conferences and go on research expedition that enhances his knowledge expand their research capabilities.
  • It is an Oceanographers job to write up reports and papers about research activities made and to set up and submit proposals in order to obtain funding on the research he wants to undergo.
  • An Oceanographer may also be asked to teach at university classes and to lead students in field trips regarding his expertise.

Work Condition of an Oceanographer

An Oceanographer’s typical work in an office is a 40 hour week but does constant travel to gather samples and conduct research that may take a certain period of time away from the family and home. In these extensive travels, the oceanographer may sleep in a cramp space in a boat if the research needs to be far from land. In research periods, an Oceanographer may work long hours to meet deadlines and to make papers and reports for presentation or publication purposes.

Since an Oceanographer needs to go in the ocean, he must be able to know how to use the scuba diving equipment and other equipment involved to do his research, it may be a specially made and designed submarine or the like. A wide range of tools for data gathering are also used by an Oceanographer such as buoys, satellites, probes, robotic vehicles and acoustic or pneumatic sensors. It is imperative for Oceanographers to have analytical skills and great attention to details.

Educational Requirements of an Oceanographer

To become an Oceanographer the minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in engineering or the physical sciences. It is also an added advantage if the person wanting to be an oceanographer focused his studies in high school in the math and sciences.

Occupation and Progress of an Oceanographer

Advancement in the field of oceanography is slow and is usually dependent on the government and private companies’ fund. Open positions may be caused by expansion or new projects or emptied positions due to retirement. To have higher positions in this job as oceanographer is a master’s degree is essential. A Doctoral degree is also imperative is an oceanographer is pursuing a teaching and researcher job position.

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