Our Major is designed for the "hands on" student with a strong interest in the physical and dynamic properties of the ocean and atmosphere. Oceanography majors learn concepts in the classroom and reinforce their knowledge in laboratories, field research and during internships. After graduation, our majors utilize their expertise in the fleet, may pursue advanced degrees and eventually transition to civilian careers as professional Oceanographers or Meteorologists.
IN THE CLASSROOM
Our faculty includes six tenure-track civilian professors, five rotational military instructors with recent fleet experience, and four permanent military professors. Oceanography majors take 13 courses in oceanography, meteorology, and applied mathematics. Students in the honors program take 14.
3/C year: General Oceanography I (fall); General Oceanography II / Basic Atmospheric Properties (spring)
2/C year: Atmospheric Thermodynamics / Oceanography and Meteorology Quantitative Methods / 1st Elective (fall); Oceanic & Atmospheric Processes / 2nd Elective / Honors Research Methods (spring)
1/C year: Waves and Tides / 3rd Major Elective (fall); Underwater Acoustics and Sonar / Mathematical Modeling of the Ocean and Atmosphere / Oceanography or Meteorology Capstone Course / Honors Independent Research (spring)
Electives: Oceanography - Geological / Geographical Information Systems / Polar / Near shore / Biological / Marine Mammal Conservation and Bio-Acoustics / Estuarine / Global Climate Change; Meteorology - Synoptic / Tropical / Remote Sensing
IN THE LABORATORY / CONDUCTING RESEARCH / PARTICIPATING IN INTERNSHIPS
In support of our curriculum, the Department's research vessel, YP686, collects weekly oceanographic and meteorological data in the Chesapeake Bay. Additional complexes in Rickover and Chauvenet Hall house oceanographic, meteorological, and geological laboratories. Faculty directed research opportunities include the retreat of glaciers associated with global climate change, the survey of century old ship wrecks, the high frequency vocalizations of marine mammals, ocean turbidity in Key West, oxygen depletion and oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay, and wind regimes over the Andes Mountains in Chile. Over the past two decades, our department has produced a Rhode Scholar, 9 Trident Scholars, 68 conference presentations, 38 articles in conference proceedings and 5 refereed journal articles. Our robust internship program includes storm chasing over the Great Plains States, flying through hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean, training of Navy EOD mine hunting dolphins, analyzing imagery in Washington, D.C, sampling sea ice in the Bering Sea and a week in Antarctica that includes a flight to the South Pole.
IN THE FLEET / GRADUATE SCHOOL / CIVILIAN CAREERS
After graduation, our majors pursue careers in surface warfare, submarines, naval aviation, the Marine Corps (air / ground), special warfare, and other fields. Approximately three graduates per year attend immediate graduate school at the University of Rhode Island, Massachusetts Institute of Technology or SCRIPPS Institute. After their initial tours, a few transfer into the Naval Oceanography community and obtain Master's and Doctoral Degrees in Oceanography and Meteorology at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. After transition to the public sector, employment opportunities exist in the federal government (NOAA, NSF, USGS, NASA, EPA, Department of Energy), in over 500 academic institutions that offer courses in oceanography and meteorology related fields, and in private industry (Engineering Companies, Fisheries, Petroleum Industry and Marine Policy).