Ocean Sciences

Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Ocean Sciences!

Ocean Sciences comprises all the disciplines applied by our scientists to understand the ocean as a major Earth system. Half of the world’s population lives in the coastal zone, much of our food, recreation, and threats come from it, and our lifestyles are increasingly impacting it.  Society has great need then to understand the ocean, particularly those processes affecting the ocean’s role as a resource and as a risk; this understanding begins with study of the ocean’s fundamental mechanisms, our primary focus. 

As professional scientists, we are motivated to understand the incredibly powerful processes running through and thus defining the global ocean. We are dedicated to illuminating the ocean depths, employing our strengths in physical oceanography and marine physics, air-sea interactions, trace element and physical chemistry, carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry, and tracer oceanography.  With the support of the nation, we conduct our research across the furthest reaches of the ocean, from coastal to polar environments, using state-of-the-art analytical techniques, computer models and remote sensing.  Our faculty are internationally renowned and our students and staff outstanding; the department is committed to maintaining its world-class research and to extending that knowledge to our peers and society. We welcome your support and involvement.

Dennis Hansell, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of the Department of Ocean Science