What is oceanography? You and your kids will find out all about it with this free oceanography unit study. As always, I love to give you a free printable to go with this unit study post. You’ll find it at the end, but in the meantime, keep reading to find out interesting things about oceanography to teach your kids!
All About Oceanography Unit Study
What is oceanography?
Oceanography applies a variety of subjects from chemistry and geology to meteorology, biology, and other branches of science to the study of the ocean. Also known as oceanology, it is a very important Earth science. Within this science, there are multiple topics studied:
- ecosystems dynamics
- ocean currents
- ocean waves
- plate tectonics
- sea floor
- and more!
These can be broken down into even more topics that can be studied. Some of these diverse topics reach into world ocean, biology, chemistry, geography, geology, and more.
What is an oceanographer?
Physical oceanographers study the physical conditions and physical processes within the ocean such as waves, currents, eddies, gyres, and tides. They are the ones that go in and study everything mentioned above. If you wanted to be an oceanographer, you would need to choose a specific field to go into. Since the ocean is so huge, there are many jobs that oceanographers can do.
Regardless of which field an oceanographer selects as their primary studies, they will still need to comprehend the other aspects of oceanography. The main types of oceanographers are:
- Marine Biologists
- Physical Oceanographers
- Chemical Oceanographers
- Geological Oceanographers
A Day in the Life of an Oceanographer
Below are a few videos that show an oceanographer in action.
Facts About the Ocean
In order to have oceanography, we need an ocean, right? Below are some interesting facts:
- Oceanography can include the study of marine life, the geography of the ocean floor, and the water itself.
- The highest ocean tide in the world is in the Bay of Fundy on Canada’s east coast. It rises about 52 feet!
- On average, an ocean is a little over two miles deep.
- The deepest part of the ocean is the Mariana Trench. It is 36,200 feet (7 miles) deep.
- Oceans help keep Earth’s climate habitable. By constantly moving water around, oceans help keep places from getting too hot or too cold.
- The words ocean and sea are often used interchangeably, but a sea is smaller and usually has land on several sides.
Oceanography Activity Ideas
As you and your kids continue to learn about oceanography, consider adding some activities they can do, In the free unit study pack below, there are printables that send them on a search for some of the most famous oceanographers. They’ll also be able to write down information about what they do in their job fields.
Consider building a makeshift ocean using a variety of construction paper, cotton balls, plaster of pairs, and more. You can make an ocean zone density jar, an ocean-themed sensory bin, or do an ocean current science experiment.
Free What is Oceanography? Printable Pack
This printable pack is your one-stop shop for helping to teach your children all about the ocean and those who work with it (oceanographer). It’s packed with facts, what it’s like to be an oceanographer, puzzles, and more! Download, print, and use it as you study this fascinating part of the world (and job)!