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.