Oceanography Department

Ocean health and human health are inextricably linked

Welcome to the Oceanography Department at Cabrillo, a hub of learning dedicated to the mysteries of our world's oceans. Whether you complete the Marine Science Certificate of Achievement, take OCEAN-10 as your general education lab science course to transfer to CSU or UC, continue on to the project-based OCEAN-20, take the weekend field course OCEAN-30, or join us for a morning beach clean-up, we’re glad to have you as part of the Oceanography Department!

Our department exists to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills help understand and conserve marine ecosystems. We embrace the many interconnections between humans, climate, and the ocean. Specifcally, we’re committed to shedding light on the historic exploitation of ocean resources while elevating the stories of the many indigenous, Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, women, undocumented, and people with disabilities who have contributed to our understanding of oceanography and support ocean health today.

Here, we offer a unique opportunity to dive into oceanography's many areas, including beach dynamics, intertidal ecology, deep sea geology, ocean chemistry, climate models, and marine conservation. Our courses emphasize experiential learning to empower students to become stewards of our oceans, equipped to confront pressing issues like climate change, overfishing, habitat degradation, and biodiversity loss. By engaging in hands-on fieldwork around Monterey Bay, research projects, interactive online coursework, and community action, our students have options for how they develop a deep connection to the marine world and cultivate a profound sense of responsibility.

What is Oceanography?

Oceanography is the science of the ocean. Oceanographers work on ocean biology and ecosystems, seafloor volcanoes, beach erosion, ocean currents, rogue waves, El Nino, climate and sea ice, and many other topics!

Where will Oceanography take me?

Training in oceanography can lead to a rewarding a career in a wide variety of fields such as research, education, engineering/consulting, and policy. Students can transfer to a UC or CSU to complete their undergraduate degree. However, many oceanographers find their passion for the ocean while majoring in one of the other STEM fields such as Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering. Some decide to continue in graduate school and earn an M.S. or Ph.D. in Oceanography.

See a counselor or the Department Chair for more specific information about the Marine Science Certificate of Achievement and educational pathways to a career in Oceanography.

Oceanography Resources