Chemical Oceanography

Chemical Oceanography

Chemical oceanographers seek to understand the ways in which various elements are cycled within the oceans, and the reactions that these elements undergo. Ocean chemists improve our understanding of the basic conditions under which ocean life thrives in seawater, and help predict the effects of anthropogenic and natural climate change on ocean composition.

Our research programs include the role and variability of nutrients in seawater, the distribution and cycling of rare earth elements and other trace metals, examination of the oceans’ CO2 system, the study of dissolved organic matter, molecular organic compounds, radionuclides and stable isotopes in the oceans, and the distribution of chemical pollutants and their toxicity to marine organisms and ecosystems. Faculty and students utilize a wide variety of state-of-the art instrumentation and technology to investigate these research problems.

View our Chemical Oceanography Faculty

Sample Research Groups

  • C-IMAGE - A global ten-year, $36.6 million research program to understand the impacts of the oil spills on the Gulf of Mexico. 
  • COMIT - a five-year, $9 million cooperative agreement with NOAA to develop new technologies and approaches to ocean and coastal zone mapping to help build resilient coastal ecosystems, communities, and economies.