Skip to contentSkip to Main Site NavigationSkip to Site Left NavigationSkip to Site Utility NavigationSkip to Site SearchSkip to FooterDownload Adobe Reader
decorative banner
Pages within Oceanography


Dr. Caitlin Tems
Earth Science Instructor
Phone: 619-660-4511



In its most simple form, oceanography is an Earth science that focuses on the study of the oceans. More specifically, it is the application of physics, chemistry and biology to the study of the seas, including its living and non-living contents and how they interact with the atmosphere and surrounding land.

Oceanography is typically divided into four specific areas of study, including geological oceanography (the structure of the sea floor and how it has changed); chemical oceanography (the chemical composition of sea water, how it has changed and how to extract certain chemicals from it); physical oceanography (waves, tides, currents, and how the ocean affects our climate); and biological oceanography (various oceanic life forms and how they adapt to the marine environment and interact with each other).


Oceanography courses at Cuyamaca College include:

  • Introduction to Oceanography, a physical science course that examines the major aspects of the marine environment. Topics include the origin of the oceans, plate tectonics, seafloor features and ocean climate.
  • Oceanography Laboratory, a hands-on oceanographic laboratory experience to accompany and augment Introduction to Oceanography, this course includes field investigations in the marine environment emphasizing the geological, chemical, physical and biological aspects of the ocean.

Career Opportunities

  • Marine biology
  • Fisheries and fisheries scientists
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Nonprofit or government organizations
  • Marine geochemistry
  • Marine archeology
  • Salvaging operations
  • Technical writer
  • Researcher
  • Meteorologist
Last Updated: 04/15/2019


Dr. Caitlin Tems
Earth Science Instructor
Phone: 619-660-4511

  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District