Have you ever looked at our beautiful mountains, rivers, lakes and ocean and wondered how they were formed? Are you curious about what ocean landscape looks like? Is it flat? Is it rocky? How deep is it?
What is Oceanography?
If we want to break it down, the term ‘Oceanography’ is the mix of 2 Greek words meaning “ocean” & “write”.
Oceanography has a history over the course of tens of thousands of years. It all started when people would venture off their coastlines on rafts and noticed how factors like the tides and current influence the amount and types of fish they could catch. Granted their understandings were incorporated into tales, myths and legends about the mechanisms of the ocean however it’s these observations that started to get the ball rolling for oceanography.
By roughly 2,850 years ago naturalists and philosophers were trying to make sense of the ocean. Modern oceanography got kicked started as a legitimate scientific field a little less than 130 years ago with explorers leading expeditions that would take on these bodies of water.
Oceanography is a wide field of study focused on how differing parts of the ocean interact with each other. There are several areas within this field you could specialize. For instance, you could analyze how pollution interacts with the animal in the ocean- i.e be a marine biologist. Or you could focus on how the chemical balance maintains the health of marine ecosystems. Or you could study how the underwater landscape shapes and influences marine life. You could also research how the physical processes of the oceans such as waves, gyres and tides affect the relationships between the seafloor all the way through to the waves. These areas range from being an biological, chemical, geological to a physical oceanographer. These fields of study overlap with each other and feed off of each other so there are instances when a geological oceanographer would look into how deep currents are related to plate tectonics.