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Oceanography

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Dive into the Science of the Ocean

Oceanography is the study of the movement of the ocean, its geography, and how outside factors affect it. LASC doesn’t offer a degree or certificate in oceanography at this time, but we do offer very hands-on courses where you will have the opportunity to collect data onboard an oceanographic research vessel, along with other course field trips to help learn the fundamentals of the ocean and its properties.

Oceanographers need a background in chemistry, biology, geology, earth science, and other physical sciences to research specific aspects of the ocean and the coast and how they are being affected by outside influences, such as climate change or pollution. Studying oceanography at LASC can give biology, chemistry, geography, geology, and other science majors valuable insight into how our oceans and all that live within them function.

Careers in Oceanography

Oceanographers and marine biologists can often be found working in or near the ocean, yet a lot of time is also spent performing laboratory experiments on the specimens collected while out in the field. These careers typically require a lot of research, investigation, and irregular work hours. 

Here are a few professions and their salaries that you could have with a career in oceanography: 

Career information below taken from bls.gov November 2019. Go to bls.gov for most current career information.

Study the physical aspects of the ocean.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $86,560/year $41.62/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 6% increase
(as fast as average)
1,180

Teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Master's Degree $121,540/year N/A
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 5% increase
(as fast as average)
440

Design, build, and maintain ships, from aircraft carriers to submarines and from sailboats to tankers.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $106,080/year
$51.00/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed -7% decrease
(decline)
60

Use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $89,260/year
$42.91/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None to less than a year 5% increase
(as fast as average)
3,060

Courses offered in Oceanography at LASC 

There are three courses LASC offers in Oceanography, which can also meet a CSU-GE requirement. Learn about the makeup and importance of our vast oceans to explore these amazing bodies of water we rely on for so much! Go to LASC’s current Course Catalog for specific course information:

1 Introduction to Oceanography (3) CSU 

Lecture: 3 hours 

This course introduces students with a solid understanding of the physical and chemical aspects of the ocean. This includes discussions of plate tectonics, ocean-floor features, sediment, properties, currents and waves, coastal environments, and the impact of humans on the ocean environment. A one-day supervised observations and data collection aboard an oceanographic research vessel is required. Students interested in earning lab credit are encouraged to enroll in OCEANO 10. 

5 Oceanography and Physical Laboratory (4) 

Lecture: 3 hours; Lab: 3 hours 

This course introduces students with a solid understanding of the physical and chemical aspects of the ocean. This includes discussions of plate tectonics, ocean-floor features, sediment, properties, currents and waves, coastal environments, and the impact of humans on the ocean environment. A one-day supervised observations and data collection aboard an oceanographic research vessel is required. Students interested in earning lab credit are encouraged to enroll in OCEANO 10. 

10 Physical Oceanography Laboratory (2) UC:CSU 

CSUGE Area B3 
Lecture: 1 hour; Lab: 1 hour 

This course introduces students to field and laboratory study of marine environment. Analysis of maps, plus shore and on-water trips for experience in use of oceanographic instruments. Analysis and interpretation of results. Field trips to coastal southern California are integral part of the lab.

 

Learn More about Oceanography

Are you interested in pursuing a career in oceanography? If so, talk with your counselor about the biology, geography, and science courses you can take at LASC to prepare you to transfer to a four-year college or university with an oceanography program. You can also find out more at our Transfer Center.