South Africa’s oceans and coasts are dynamic environments shaped by wind, water density and tides that regulate climate, absorb carbon and cycle nutrients for marine ecosystems. These systems are constantly in a state of flux due to variations in climate, which in turn shapes marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Understanding the properties and interrelated nature of oceans and coastal systems support decision-makers in managing oceans and coastal environments that support global and local economies and livelihoods.
Oceanographers periodically work aboard research ships or boats observing and collecting data, returning to a laboratory and office environment to perform tests and report their findings. Due to the nature of their work, they can be out at sea for days, weeks or even months at a time.
Oceanographers need a thorough knowledge of marine systems and practical experience with digital mapping, remote sensing and computer modelling. They will also benefit from:
Perform research and plan marine expeditions
Analyse and interpret data from samples, measurements and remote sensing aids
Perform simulations of oceanographic phenomena
Report on and publish findings in academic journals and books
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Oceanography at UCT
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Marine Biology at UCT and UKZN.
B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Biological Sciences specialising in Botany or Zoology at all universities
Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Oceanography at CPUT
National, provincial and local government.
NGOs, community-based and development organisations and private consultancies.
Offshore mining companies.