Degree Programs and Curriculum
Physical oceanography involves the study of water movement in the ocean. Energy is
introduced to the ocean through wind and solar heating, and these combine with the
rotation of the Earth and gravitational effects to drive ocean circulation, tides,
and waves. Our physical oceanographers also investigate how the Earth’s oceans are
directly coupled with the atmosphere, from local weather patterns to the global climate
system. Physical oceanographers in the CMS carry out research on a variety of topics
using the latest technology. Computer models, real time data, satellite remote sensing,
and in situ data from moored arrays, coastal and island tide gauges, and research
cruises are used to study a wide range of research problems. Topics include tide and
current prediction in Tampa Bay, circulation on the West Florida Shelf and in the
Gulf of Mexico, El Niño, and the potential for global climate change.
Research at the College of Marine Science has received national recognition. We are a member of the National Association of Marine Laboratories. Project funding for physical oceanography comes from a variety of sources including the National Ocean Service, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Our Physical Oceanographers utilize computer resources, modeling, bouys, COMPS and PORTS real time sensors, and satellite data received at USF.
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