Monday, 20th November 2017
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MARINE SCIENTIST

Marine science is a very wide field, where marine scientists work in the research and analysis of all areas concerning oceans - their nature and their marine life-forms. Marine scientists combine specialist skills with a love for the sea and an interest in ocean life, applying their expertise to the analysis of how the sea interacts with the land, the earth’s surface and the environment.

Research into marine science can look into the sea’s relationship with the earth’s crust, the seafloors, coastal areas, animal and plant life and the atmosphere, and scientists can specialise in a subject to become:

  • Marine Geologists - studying the history of the ocean floor, including plate tectonics and formations
  • Marine Biologists - focusing on the lifeforms of the sea, working amongst the animals and organisms and studying their movements and underwater habitats
  • Marine Chemists - studying the chemical composition of sea-water and monitoring the effects of pollution

Marine scientists can be employed by a number of public or private sector companies (universities, environment organisations and commercial companies), to find information about the sea and its relationships, and to predict changes in the environment. Marine scientists aim to find information that helps to encourage the protection of the marine environment.

Work for marine scientists can vary depending on the specialism, but generally their roles include some of the following research and analysis tasks:

  • Collecting samples from the sea, using various systems and processes
  • Working computer databases and specialist software programmes
  • Analysing samples and collected information
  • Monitoring changes in the marine environment
  • Preparing detailed reports and research papers
  • Creating new research theories and hypotheses
  • Designing, creating and using specialist equipment and processes
  • Working on and operating sea vessels
  • Reading published research papers and environment reports

The broad field of marine science can include the specialisms of marine biology, ecosystem dynamics, ocean modelling, coastal management and zoology, amongst others, but generally marine scientists focus on the sea's relationship with its surroundings. Whilst all marine scientists are required to have scientific skill and marine expertise, they will often have to specialise in one area and obtain the relevant qualifications.

Marine scientists can split time working in an office, in a laboratory or out in the field on sea-going vessels. Regardless of the employer, or the specialism, marine scientists all share a common interest in the sea and its protection.