Marine and ocean sciences have been areas of excellence at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) since the 1970’s. The Ocean Sciences department at UCSC has an international reputation in research and graduate and postdoctoral education. UCSC’s location on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the impressive growth of marine and ocean science initiatives at UCSC and surrounding institutions make this an outstanding collegial and collaborative setting for research. Intellectual strengths include biological oceanography, marine microbial ecology, chemical oceanography, marine biogeochemistry, paleoceanography and paleoclimatology, physical oceanography and climatology, and biological-physical modeling of the marine environment.

The Ocean Sciences department is distinguished by our high quality faculty and research programs, by our existing and expanding world-class research facilities, and by our integration of graduate education and undergraduate education in the ocean sciences and the related fundamental science disciplines. Although small in size relative to the major U.S. schools of oceanography, we have substantial presence and impact in our field. UCSC Ocean Sciences faculty members share a common disciplinary framework in our intellectual approach to understanding and investigating the ocean, present and past.

four thematic areas of emphasis

The four thematic research areas of Ocean Sciences at UCSC

Evolving from the traditional oceanography subdivisions of biological oceanography, chemical oceanography, physical oceanography, and marine geology and geophysics, our small department is structured around thematic areas of emphasis. Faculty members’ academic interests and interactions are not limited by these thematic groupings, and typically span more than one area. The flexibility of the faculty approach to these thematic groupings allow for effective research interactions that cross departmental and divisional boundaries at UCSC, and create a larger impact than might be expected from our size. For example, interactions between faculty in Ocean Sciences and Earth & Planetary Sciences have established areas of excellence in paleoceanography and paleoclimatology. The paleoceanography faculty members in Ocean Sciences and EPS, along with colleagues in EPS, have extensive involvement in scientific ocean drilling, including participation in and leadership roles in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and its predecessor, the Ocean Drilling Program.