In this episode, Ms. Swati Salunkhe speaks about a career in oceanography. Water, a part and parcel of human life, the entire world revolves around it. They say 70 percent of the earth or our planet is water. So, why not a career in the water itself, of course, you need to love water and also need to have the innate feeling of conserving it to the best for the future generation and that is what oceanographers do. But it is more than that, the biggest being you need to love the aquatic life, the sea life, the sea world a lot and then becoming an oceanographer can be an easy thing. But oceanography is not only about loving the sea life or liking the sea or just liking the breeze, it is more than that; it is a science by itself.
Oceanographers have a challenging life and they bring different facets for the well-being of humankind too. While taking care of the aquatic life they need to see how best it can be involved as an industry or how commercially benefitting it could be or how strategically it could be taken care of too. Oceanography involves the study of ocean and complex relationship with the planet. It includes the study of weather, ocean currents, sea life, and many other topics that are associated with oceanic or aquatic life. Healthy oceans are crucially important to maintain a healthy planet.
Oceanographers are some of the important climate researchers in the fight to mitigate the effect of climate change, overpopulation, and overfishing. Remember oceanographers are also researchers. So, what exactly do the oceanographers do? Do they stay away from their homeland and are just swimming in the sea or is it more complicated? Yes definitely, duties are very varied. They plan and carry out field studies in which they visit locations to collect samples and conduct surveys, analyze seawater components, the effects of pollutants, the impact of the chemical process on marine organisms, conduct laboratory tests on the sample collected from the ocean, use chemistry to understand how ocean currents move seawater around the globe, make geological maps and charts.
It is definitely an interesting and one of the most challenging fields; as such very few oceanographers are into it but it has been a profession from time immemorial. You need to be a science student right from your 10+2 level. You could be a graduate in zoology, geology, biology, environmental sciences, you could be an engineer by profession. But the love of oceans has to be constant. You get to learn this interesting degree only at the post-graduation level at the Masters/M.Sc. or M.Tech. levels only. You could take up masters and specialize in any of the fields like marine biotechnology, marine geology, marine geophysics, marine botany, applied geophysics ocean engineering marine technology, geo technology, and so on. So, you see specialization is very varied.
Along with the educational qualification and love for the sea, oceanographers also need to have certain skill sets, they need to be risk-takers they need to be looking out for something different in the sense the eye for detailing has to be too strong, they need to be meticulous in their approach, they need to work in teams; definitely an oceanographer cannot work alone, there are a number of teams and mechanisms, it’s interdisciplinary too.
Unlike the land, their career opportunities for oceanographers are also different, challenging, and varied. These are right from getting into the public sector or government sector establishments or even as a scientist or an engineer or a technician in oil rigging companies or in the defense sector, the geological survey of India, the meteorological survey of India, department of oceanography are some of the government agencies that are working into it.
So, Oceanographers, it is not a lone job neither an office job, it is with nature, by the sea and something which can give you a different phase of life itself. If you need challenging field oceanography can just be the answer for you.