New Oceanography Degree Prepares Students To Tackle Challenges Facing The World’s Oceans

Damselfish swim in shallow water in Palau, where Texas A&M researchers study ocean acidification.

Damselfish swim in shallow water in Palau, where Texas A&M researchers study ocean acidification.

By Keith Randall, Marketing and Communications

Responding to new challenges impacting the Earth’s oceans, Texas A&M University’s Department of Oceanography will offer a new undergraduate degree in oceanography.

The new bachelor of science degree in oceanography is necessary for several reasons, officials say.

“The exploration and exploitation of energy resources in deeper waters offshore, the continued growth of human populations along the coast, and growing efforts to predict and mitigate coastal hazards such as hurricanes, tsunamis, oil spills, and harmful algal blooms are driving an increase in the need and opportunities for well-trained ocean scientists,” says Shari Yvon-Lewis, acting department head of oceanography.

“We are extremely excited to offer the new bachelor of science degree in oceanography. This new degree is tailored to providing skills for new oceanography-related jobs emerging as we tap further into the resources provided by the ocean, as well as skills that are transferable to a wide array of technical careers.

“This new degree will provide students with the skills they need to go directly into the workforce as well as provide a strong STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) foundation for students wanting to pursue an advanced degree. We have built professional development opportunities into the curriculum and provide opportunities for study abroad and internships.”

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The new major will provide education and training in one of three areas of concentration: ocean observing systems and technology; ocean climate and marine ecosystem science and health.

Some experts say geosciences could be the defining scientific discipline of the 21st century, noting that human society of the future depends more on innovation and application of discovery in the geosciences than on any other discipline. The field is essential to solving society’s critical challenges – global climate change, air and water quality, and adequate energy and food supplies.

For more information, about the new degree, go to http://ocean.tamu.edu/academics/degrees/index.html.

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Contact:  Robyn Blackmon, communications manager, College of Geosciences, at (979) 845-6324 or robynblackmon@tamu.edu or Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644or keith-randall@tamu.edu

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