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Monterey Peninsula College
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Chemical Oceanography

College or University: Oregon State University

Type of degree: Ph.D.

Brief overview of program: Chemical oceanographers at COAS study the chemistry of the oceans and other aquatic environments to record changes in the environment over time. They study interactions with plants, animals, and microorganisms; the Earth’s seafloor and continents; and the atmosphere. They examine chemicals in oceans, lakes, and rivers to understand the natural and anthropogenic changes affecting these environments. Focus areas of the faculty include development of analytical methods and chemical sensors, chemical hydrography, biogeochemical cycles, hydrothermal and gas hydrate chemical processes, and biomarker studies. Applicants to the COAS Chemical Oceanography program must have an undergraduate degree in chemistry or another discipline of science, with at least one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. Additional background in differential equations, probability, and statistics is desirable. Prior exposure to environmental study through independent, undergraduate laboratory, or field experience provides excellent preparation for our program but is not a requirement.

Website: Click here for program website

Description of Facilities: Chemical oceanography students at OSU have access to a wide variety of research environments ranging from alpine lakes in the nearby Cascade mountains to hydrothermal systems located conveniently off the coast of Oregon. The OSU research vessel Wecoma affords many opportunities for coastal and deep-water work throughout the Pacific Ocean. Analytical facilities within the college include inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (high-resolution multi-collector and standard versions) with ion chromatrography and laser ablation capabilities, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, capillary gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography with spectrofluorimetric and diode-array spectrophotometric modes of detection, dual-inlet and continuous-flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry, and extensive computer networks. Other analytical capabilities such as electron microscopy, ion-probe analysis, and neutron-activation analysis are shared with agricultural and environmental chemists and biochemists on campus. Collaboration with students, faculty members, and professional scientists in other OSU departments and affiliated agencies is encouraged and often includes interaction with researchers and facilities at local USEPA laboratories and HMSC.

Program Point of Contact: Robert Collier


Institution address: 202 Apperson Hall Oregon State University
                             Corvallis,OR 97331


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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation .