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The oceans cover approximately 71% of the earth’s surface, and play a critical role in global climate through storage and transport of heat and carbon dioxide.  Interactions between the ocean and atmosphere are responsible for global phenomena such as El Niño. Understanding ocean circulation and chemistry is crucial for understanding climate variability and prediction. ATOC faculty, graduate students, and research staff work together on a wide range of oceanographic research topics: large-scale dynamics; small-scale turbulence, air-sea interaction; carbon cycling and biogeochemistry; remote sensing of the ocean; and ocean-ice interactions. ATOC offers a Master’s and Ph.D. degree in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.  Students wishing to specialize in the Oceanography track will enroll in courses that satisfy the core curriculum requirements. ATOC also offers a Graduate Level Certificate in Oceanography.

Core faculty

Other researchers

Specific topics and projects

  • The ocean’s role in the climate system
  • Impacts of climate variability and change on the ocean
  • Dynamics of the tropical ocean circulation
  • Coupled ocean-atmospheric dynamics
  • El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
  • Indian Ocean’s role in the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)
  • Process studies
  • Air-sea interaction
  • Marine carbon cycle
  • Ocean climate variability and change
  • Numerical ocean modeling
  • Geophysical fluid dynamics
  • Predictability and turbulence

Relevant courses

  • ATOC 3070. Introduction to Oceanography
  • ATOC 4215/5215. Descriptive Physical Oceanography
  • ATOC 4500/7500. Physical Oceanography and Climate (Fall 2015)
  • ATOC 5051. Introduction to Physical Oceanography
  • ATOC 5061. Dynamics of Oceans
  • ATOC 5300. The Global Carbon Cycle
  • ATOC 6020. Seminar in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  • ATOC 7500. Special Topics in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Other resources