Oceanography or Marine Science is an interdisciplinary science that uses insights from biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and physics to analyze ocean currents, marine ecosystems, ocean storms, waves, ocean plate tectonics, and features of the ocean floor, including exotic biomes such as cold seeps and hydrothermal vents.
Oceanography is divided into four general categories:
- Biological Oceanography (marine oceanography), the study of marine biota and their interactions;
- Chemical Oceanography (marine chemistry), which studies the chemistry of the oceans, both past and present, and the way it interacts with the atmosphere and the carbon cycle;
- Geological Oceanography (marine geology), which studies the geological makeup of the ocean floor, including the motion and interaction of various oceanic tectonic plates; and
- Physical Oceanography (marine physics), studying the physics of the oceans, including the complex ways that light, sound, and radio waves traverse the ocean.
Oceanography is also heavily used in ocean engineering, commercial or scientific ventures involving the construction of oil platforms, ships, harbors, and maybe in the future, floating cities.
Oceanographers use science and mathematics to study and explain the complex interactions between seawater, fresh water, polar ice caps, the atmosphere and the biosphere. They are involved in areas such as mineral exploitation, shipping, fisheries, coastal construction, pollution, weather prediction, climate change and renewable energy.
Oceanographers work in offices and laboratories in academia, industry and government, often in multidisciplinary teams. They collect samples of data from the sea, analyse them looking at life forms, and matter present. They will perform simulations of ocean phenomena using computer models, investigating hypotheses and making predictions.