In the past decade, the University System of Maryland has emerged as a nationally and internationally recognized center for oceanographic research. The Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) and the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies (CES), and the Meteorology Department at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) are most active in this field, with the research of at least 25 faculty focusing on oceanography.
Expertise in oceanography in the University System of Maryland lies in the sub-fields of Biological and Physical Oceanography and cross-disciplinary studies of marine biogeochemistry. The expertise in biological oceanography includes water column nutrient cycling and trophic dynamics (comprising the entire pelagic food web and fishes), benthic ecology, and theoretical ecosystem analysis.
The expertise in physical oceanography at HPL is in estuarine and coastal circulations, mixing, transport, and numerical modeling. The expertise in physical oceanography at the Department of Meteorology at UMCP is in large scale flows and global circulation problems.
Students in this AOS have access to extensive oceanographic facilities throughout the USM as well as the opportunity to work with some of the University's outstanding faculty in oceanography with global scale programs. Fundamental courses in the four major sub-fields of oceanography are required to provide interdisciplinary breadth, but a degree in the Oceanography AOS emphasizes the student's independent research. Students graduating from the Oceanography AOS can expect to find jobs in universities, oceanographic laboratories, government agencies, and consulting firms.