What is Marine Science? by Dr. Renate Bernstein

In simplest terms, marine science is the branch of Earth science that specializes in the oceans. Marine scientists explore many aspects of the ocean, including organisms, ecosystems, and plate tectonics. Many combine several sciences in their studies, including biology, geology, physics, and chemistry.

Some marine scientists like to focus on marine biology; that is, the study of organisms, their behaviors, and their interactions with their environment. In order to be successful in this field, scientists must have a good understanding of chemical oceanography, geological oceanography, and physical oceanography. Since the ocean is so vast, many marine biologists tend to pick one particular interest and specialize in it.

Other marine scientists may choose to specialize in ocean engineering, the creation of instruments and devices used to further marine science studies. Ocean engineers are responsible for the development of many important and innovative tools, including underwater video equipment, sediment traps, and ocean seismometers.

There are many aspects of marine science to specialize in. If you are interested in becoming a marine scientist, conduct additional research to find which area suits your interests.

About the author: Dr. Renate Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of South Florida. She has logged hundreds of hours on research expeditions, many of which lasted a month at sea.

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About renatebernstein

Experienced biogeochemist and researcher Renate E. Bernstein has most recently worked on projects funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dr. Bernstein specializes in the development and testing of instrumentation for the assessment of oceanic carbon parameters; crucial to a better understanding of global climate change and its effect on the world’s ocean. Dr. Bernstein is also considered to be a world expert on the subject of acantharians; ubiquitous microscopic oceanic plankton that can dictate oceanic elemental concentrations and have been implicated in the formation of the heretofore enigmatic marine barite. Additionally, Dr. Bernstein has worked with microscopic plankton called foraminifera, used as a proxy in determining the viability of coral reef systems. Much of this research entailed month-long seagoing research expeditions around the world as well as laboratory work. 
A longtime affiliate of the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science, Renate E. Bernstein has completed investigations funded by the National Science Foundation into a variety of ocean phenomena, including the relationship between sediment trap collection efficiency and their hydrodynamics in the Sargasso Sea. These traps were deployed at various depths within the water column and were used to collect particulates at varying ocean depths. These particulates were then analyzed to glean an understanding of the types and amounts of microscopic material prevalent within the water column. Dr. Bernstein was also a member of a team of scientists studying the effect of Asian dust in the Northern Pacific Ocean. This dust, born of massive dust storms, travels great distances and has been implicated in promoting ocean productivity by providing necessary nutrients. 
 Renate Bernstein completed a B.A. degree in Mathematics and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Marine Science at the University of South Florida. A dedicated student, Renate E. Bernstein secured induction into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, won a Knight Fellowship for academic achievement, and published her findings in a wide range of eminent peer-reviewed journals. Over the course of her career, she has submitted and published articles in scientific journals such as Environmental Science & Technology, Marine Chemistry, Deep-Sea Research, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Science and Nature. Additionally she has contributed chapters in two books; a two-volume book entitled South Atlantic Zooplankton and another entitled Marine Particles: Analysis and Characterization. Originally trained as a nurse, Renate E. Bernstein provided intensive care to hospital patients at Boston City Hospital for several years before entering the field of marine science. Dr. Bernstein earned her R.N. from the Boston City Hospital School of Nursing where she specialized in cardiac nursing.
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