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Oceanography Program

School of Marine Science and Policy: Oceanography Program

Oceanography faculty and students conduct diverse research ranging from the nearby estuaries of the Delaware and Chesapeake Rivers to the far reaches of the  world, the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica, surface to deep.

  • Katharina Billups
    Katharina Billups uses light stable isotopes and other geochemical tools to investigate paleoclimates and ocean history as recorded in deep-sea sediments.
  • Chris Sommerfield
    Oceanographer Chris Sommerfield uses sediment cores to examine changes in Delaware marshes in the face of sea-level rise.
  • AUV retrieval
    CEOE oceanographers use autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and other equipment to study waters of the R/V Hugh R. Sharp.
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With an interdisciplinary approach, we assess nutrient cycling in our adjacent wetlands and waters, investigate processes and rates of sediment transport and their effect on the behavior of benthic organisms, we study the biogeochemistry of hydrothermal vents, and using the geochemistry of coastal and deep sea sediments, we reconstruct past climate change. We utilize observational data and numerical models to better understand coastal and open ocean climate interactions.

Through research and course work, students learn about remote sensing, the development of microelectrode probes and sensors, cutting edge data assimilation and visualization techniques and autonomous underwater vehicles. Located directly on the Delaware River estuary, students have many opportunities to participate in coastal research cruises on board the R/V Hugh R Sharp, the R/V Joanne Daiber and smaller outboard-driven boats.   

Students in the Oceanography Program pursue an M.S. degree in Marine Studies with a Concentration in Oceanography or a Ph.D. in Oceanography.

Degree Programs and Courses Offered

Core Faculty

  • Katharina Billups: paleoceanography, geochemistry, paleoclimate
  • Wei-Jun Cai: estuarine and ocean carbon cycle and biogeochemistry, sensor development
  • George Luther: marine chemistry, geochemistry, trace metal speciation, element redox cycles
  • Doug Miller: marine ecology, benthic communities
  • Mark Moline: marine ecology, ocean observation, physical oceanography, remote sensing
  • Matt Oliver: biological oceanography, remote sensing, animal telemetry
  • Christopher Sommerfield: estuarine and coastal sedimentary processes
  • Art Trembanis: coastal morphodynamics and environmental robotics
  • Bill Ullman: nutrient cycling in marginal marine systems
  • Xia-Hai Yan: physical oceanography, climate change and remote sensing

Emeritus Faculty

Degree Programs in Marine Science and Policy

The School of Marine Science and Policy in UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees.

Masters degrees are offered in marine policy, marine studies (marine biosciences, oceanography, physical ocean science and engineering), and ocean engineering.

Students interested in doctoral programs can pursue a Ph.D. in Marine Studies, Ocean Engineering, or Oceanography.

Undergraduates can pursue a bachelor's degree in Marine Studies with a concentration in Marine Biology.


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CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA
Phone: 302-831-2841 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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