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. We recognize the urgency of environmental challenges and the importance of addressing them through informed action. Our department exists to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills to understand and conserve marine ecosystems and the connections between humans, climate, and the ocean. 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.

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 rigorous curriculum and experiential learning 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.

Whether you complete the Marine Science Certificate (coming soon!), take OCEAN-10 as your general education lab science course to transfer to CSU or UC, or join us for a morning beach clean-up, we’re glad to have you as part of the Oceanography Department!

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?

Several CSU campuses offer undergraduate degrees in Oceanography or Marine science, such as CSUMB, Cal Poly and Humboldt State, as do several UC campuses such as UCLA and UCSD. 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. Then they continue in graduate school for an M.S. or Ph.D. in Oceanography. Education and training in oceanography can lead to a rewarding a career in a wide variety of fields such as research, education, engineering/consulting, and policy.

See a counselor or the Department Chair for more specific information about the Marine Science certificate (coming soon!) and educational pathways to a career in Oceanography.

Oceanography Resources