Estuary and Ocean Systems

Mesodinium rubrum in Columbia River estuary

The Estuary & Ocean Systems concentration is for students interested in a multidisciplinary approach to understanding marine systems. Applications include

  • Coastal oceanography
  • Ecosystem modeling
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Multi-scale biogeochemistry

The concentration emphasizes the effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems, the role of observatories in advancing data collection and modeling, and field-based ecological research in the Pacific Northwest. Most students become highly engaged in research soon after matriculation.

Collecting samples aboard a research cruise Columbia River estuary forecast model Dr Peterson with algal sample

Many of our graduates continue in careers that involve estuarine and ocean systems research by government agencies,  research centers, non-profits, colleges and universities. Other graduates are successful in the environmental services sector, with notable impacts nationwide. Here is a sample of careers:

  • US Geological Survey (USGS)
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Fisheries Management
  • Fisheries and Coastal Resource Management
  • Technicians for Ocean Observatories
  • Environmental Protection Agency