Career Fields

Students thinking about careers in the marine sciences often picture themselves working with whales. Within the marine science fields, however, only a few scientists specialize in that area. This website will introduce you to a wide range of marine career fields and to people working in those fields. In addition, it will give those men and women a chance to tell you what they like and dislike about their careers, what they see for the future in their fields, and much more.

There are a wide range of people featured on Some work at colleges and universities, others work for state and federal agencies, marine-related industries, research laboratories, independent organizations or consulting firms. They come from all around the country and represent a variety of educational backgrounds. Some are in the early stages of their careers while others are well established in theirs.

We asked each person a set of questions designed to meet the information needs of students with an interest in marine careers, allowing them to profile themselves. Some of the people profiled have allowed us to include an email link in their profile in case you have more questions. If you do contact them, please be patient since they are very busy people.

Choose a field to see a description of the field and read profiles of people in that field

Marine Biology

Scientists in this field study the behavior and ecology of plants and animals that live in the ocean and their roles in the marine food chain. They also study the effects of pollution on the marine environment.


Geological oceanographers study the evolution of the ocean bottom and the nature of the minerals found there. Chemical oceanographers study the chemicals and chemical compounds in the oceans. Physical oceanographers study the ocean as mass in motion, from the gentle movements of ocean currents to the dramatic power of tidal waves.

Ocean Engineering

This section covers the work of those who design and build the instruments, equipment, vehicles and structures used in the marine environment. It also includes environmental engineers, who work to alleviate any harmful impacts humans have on the marine and other environments.

Social & Policy Science

Social scientists bring the human dimension into coastal and ocean policy-making and natural resource management by helping explain why people do what they do. Marine policy specialists analyze, recommend and help implement policies relating to the management and use of marine resources.

Here you'll find information on careers that are not traditional marine science careers, but relate to them in one or more ways. Among the people profiled you will find an underwater cinematographer, an environmental educator and an aquaculture veterinarian.

Career Outlook

What does the future hold for marine science careers?