The oceans comprise over 70% of the surface of the Earth. They contain a richness of environments from the arctic ice wastes, the archipelagos of the Baltic and the tidal plains along the coasts of Europe, to coral reefs and abysses, far deeper than Mount Everest is high. The oceans include inexpressible ocean expanses where most of the production of the oceans takes place, but which are nevertheless called "ocean deserts". These many-faceted environments contain a rich plant and animal life that has adapted itself in different ways to the shifting conditions – there is an enormous diversity here. Oceans not only offer us rich and fascinating environments, they also offer us riches. Exploitation of the oceans takes many forms: healthy food is caught and farmed there, coastal areas are used for recreation, huge quantities of goods are transported across the oceans, and they are important receivers of waste. The resources are often used so intensively that the effects are frightening: eutrophication, over-fishing, toxic effects, and the loss of habitats.
Knowledge of oceanic processes that, and of how we influence them, are two preconditions for a broad understanding of the environment of the Earth. The program consists of elective courses compulsory a degree project for 30-60 hp (1-2 terms). This work can be carried out at Stockholm University, at the university field stations on the Baltic (Askö) or west coast (Tjärnö), in collaboration with an authority, or connected to a project in the tropics. The programme is a suitable preparation for research education or for future work with issues of the aquatic environment at, for example, environmental authorities, county administrative boards, municipalities, industry, etc.