Ocean Science combines a variety of disciplines (physical, geological and chemical oceanography as well as marine biology) that study and provide data on the global marine environment, integrates new societal needs, and encourages new partnerships among oceanographers working in different disciplines leading to new discoveries about the ocean’s role in climate regulation and coastal ocean processes.
Ocean Science can support business operations (fisheries and aquaculture …) as well as conservation and management activities or coastal communities. Thus, an integrated, multidisciplinary approach is essential for a career in Ocean Science.
Ocean health, biodiversity conservation, pollution control and sustainable resources management are linked intimately and require multidisciplinary team work and the integrated action of professionals with complementary expertise capable of understanding each other and promoting synergies.
Moreover, new profiles of qualified scientists and technologists are needed at the borders of classical disciplines. For example, ocean acidification and its consequences can only be understood properly and addressed by merging concepts at molecular and cellular levels, with concepts of chemical oceanography, i.e. by exploring the ocean both through the microscope and remote sensing systems. Likewise, by considering responses over a time-scale of minutes, together with consequences at a time scale of decades or centuries. This approach may be achieved by different specialists, but the latest trend is to incorporate people able to integrate all these diverse concepts, instruments and time-scales. Scientists and technologists with such a wide-ranging profile are becoming leaders in marine research. In contrast, competences and skills achieved by most existing Master programmes in marine science lack such cross-boundary competence.