High Tech with a Human Touch
Marine and Environmental Systems
What is Oceanography?
Oceanography is an interdisciplinary science that attempts to describe and understand the oceans. This involves gathering knowledge of biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, meteorology and physics. The complexity of this science and its importance to society has resulted in the development of core subdisciplines: biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography, and coastal management.
Where will you use Oceanography?
Opportunities exist for oceanographers in the private, educational, corporate, and governmental sectors. Some careers to consider are: Offshore Drilling, Marine Corrosion, Climate Monitoring, Environmental Impact Assessment, Renewable Energy, Marine Chemistry, Fishery Connectivity, Remote Sensing, Artificial Reefs, Coastal Sediments, Habitat Restoration, Currents and Larval Transport.
Why Oceanography at Florida Tech?
At Florida Tech, the oceanography program is dedicated to the study of the sea in all its aspects, including core oceanographic fields, undersea exploration, economic and governmental uses, and management. This broad-based program provides frameworks for making rational decisions regarding coastal and ocean environmental problems. Research in the oceanography program includes aspects of tides, ocean waves, coastal processes, planktonic and benthic organisms, sea-level changes, remote sensing of ocean phenomena, oceanic circulation, and trace metal identification and distribution.
Studies are conducted in the open ocean, nearshore/coastal regions and in the estuarine/lagoonal environment, using laboratory experiments, field sampling studies, and computer simulations. There are many opportunities to work with other programs in the department including environmental sciences, ocean engineering, and meterology. Research facilities include an oceanfront marine research laboratory at Vero Beach, numerous small boats and laboratories, workstation computers, and an instrument platform in the Indian River Lagoon. Close working relationships are maintained with scientists at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, the University of Miami, the Caribbean Marine Research Center, the Hubbs Sea World Research Institute, NOAA, The Living Seas/EPCOT Center, and many other academic, business and NGO partners. While most of our research is in the state of Florida, faculty members also work in the Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean and European waters for research projects. Funding sources include state, local and federal agencies, private organizations, foundations, and the United Nations.
Our Undergraduate Program:
The program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Oceanography combines classroom and laboratory work with the analysis of oceanographic data collected by students using the university's research vessels and boats. During the first two years, the student concentrates on building a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and humanities. The student can choose one of five options: marine, marine resources management, environmental studies, biological, chemical or physical oceanography. The department promotes the concept of applied research through a summer program (marine field projects) or a senior academic year research program (senior projects). Both programs are conducted under the direction of faculty members and are designed to help the student use previous academic course work in a relevant manner. The marine studies oceanography undergraduate curricula are designed to prepare the graduate for a professional scientific career and/or graduate studies exploring the scientific implication of human activities in and near the oceans.
Our Graduate Program:
The Master of Science in Oceanography can be earned on either a full-time or part-time basis. The degree is conferred on students who have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours (including thesis) of course work. The coastal management program is a nonthesis option requiring an applied internship with a government, academic, NGO or business institution. The final internship report replaces a thesis.
A Doctor of Philosophy degree may be earned by successfully completing 48 credit hours (including 24 credits of dissertation) beyond the master's degree. The master's degree can be earned in one of five options: biological, chemical, geological or physical oceanography, or coastal management. The doctoral degree may currently be earned in only the core four oceanographic sciences.