Ocean Sciences, or Oceanography, is a field that encompasses the study of the global marine environment from broad geographic and disciplinary perspectives. It essentially looks at the interaction between marine life and oceanic processes, covering such diverse topics as coastal and deep-sea food webs, marine animal ecology, physiology and behaviour, plankton dynamics, the effects of pollution or climate change on ocean life and ecosystems, the management and conservation of aquatic resources, and much more.
Our planet is predominantly covered by a vast ocean, which plays a key role in driving its climate and ecosystems, directly or indirectly affecting the lives of most of its inhabitants. Therefore, job opportunities and career perspectives for students with training in Ocean Sciences are extremely varied and rewarding.
A new paper co-written by Memorial University researchers argues that some migratory birds are failing to keep pace with a rapidly changing climate.
Dr. Stephen Mayor completed a master’s in biology at Memorial and is currently with the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
As a post-doctoral fellow at Memorial, he worked with Dr. David Schneider, Department of Ocean Sciences, on a study that looked at 48 common bird species and their ability to adjust the timing of their migration to match the changing start of spring.
“What we’re seeing is that climate change is causing the timing of spring green-up — that’s when the leaves come out on the trees — to shift,” he explained.
“It’s also become less variable and less predictable from year-to-year. We looked at how birds were responding to that shift and found nine species of songbirds are having trouble keeping up with the change and lagging behind when they should be arriving to North America.”
This spring, Memorial researchers and alumni are participating in an educational series to explore the exciting world of ocean science and technology with students from across the province.