Oceanographers investigate both fundamental and applied problems relating to the physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology of the sea, often working across traditional academic disciplines. Research carried out both independently and in collaboration with federal government laboratories occurs in many different oceanographic regimes, including coastal BC fjords, the inland sea of the Strait of Georgia, open ocean regions of the Subarctic Pacific, and many other locations, including the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. The types of problems that can be studied include fundamental questions about the flow of stratified fluids at scales ranging from tens of meters to thousands of kilometers, applied research in estuaries, coastal, and deep-ocean processes, general ocean circulation and climate change issues, marine chemistry, geochemistry, and biogeochemistry, natural product chemistry, marine viruses, fisheries oceanography, plankton ecology and physiology, and primary production of the sea. The Department is well equipped to carry out research in the field (using either its own boat or larger vessels in the oceanographic fleet), at the laboratory bench, and in the numerical heart of a computer. Most problems involve aspects of all three.
Students in Oceanography may select courses, depending on their interest, from the following areas of specialization:
Students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge by taking courses outside their area of specialization. Courses related to Oceanography are also offered in the Departments of Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Geography, Physics and Astronomy, and Zoology.
This program is pending final approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education.
The Program is designed to train marine and freshwater scientists to undertake basic and applied research that will help foster healthy marine and freshwater ecosystems and sustainable resource use. Students will broaden their interdisciplinary expertise and acquire professional experience in areas including fisheries science, aquatic ecology, environmental physiology, natural resource economics, marine governance, and climate change.
The Program will be the only M.Sc. program in BC, indeed in Canada, that offers both 18-credit thesis and 12-credit thesis streams, and is interdisciplinary in providing training in both ocean and fisheries science.
The Program will produce uniquely trained highly qualified personnel with the research capacity and knowledge translation skills necessary for influential careers in academia, industry, government, consulting, and civil society, among others. The graduate students will gain exposure to potential future careers and develop professional connections through cooperation and continual interaction with a diverse partner group in industry (e.g., fishermen’s organizations such as the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union), consulting (e.g., LGL Limited), government (e.g., Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), B.C. Ministry of the Environment), and non-governmental organizations (e.g., Suzuki Foundation, Hakai Institute), and through public engagement.