Ocean Sciences

A satellite view of Wisconsin, Michigan, and the Great Lakes

The Earth's surface is dominated by a vast interconnected ocean, which holds 96.5% of all Earth’s water. When surface freshwater is included, about 71% of the Earth’s surface is water covered. For this reason, the US federal definition of “oceans” includes the Great Lakes. We are all profoundly influenced by the oceans and its waters, which controls our climate, provides employment for millions of people, acts as a transport route for much of the world's commerce, and accepts vast quantities of waste.

Because of the range of scientific knowledge required to understand and function within the marine environment, including the atmosphere above the water surface, ocean science is usually divided into a variety of disciplines. The marine environment is influenced by interacting physical, chemical, biological and geological processes. It is this interdisciplinarity and the technology required to explore this vast resource which makes ocean science so exciting and demanding.

Ocean Sciences News