Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 29 Issue 01

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Volume 29, No. 1
Pages 60 - 66

Broadening the Impact of Graduate Education in the Ocean Sciences

Cheryl Peach Gail Scowcroft
Article Abstract

Ocean sciences graduate students are embarking on an increasingly wide array of career pathways that require teaching and/or communication skills. Traditional graduate training currently does not provide many opportunities for students to gain these skills. Graduate education in ocean sciences should evolve to prepare students with not only research expertise, but also the broader skill set essential for success as a twenty-first century ocean scientist. Within academia, increased competition for limited positions is driving an expectation that competitive candidates will have demonstrated teaching experience or training. Outside of academia, communication and outreach skills are required for collaborating with nonscientists within industry or government, reaching out to stakeholders, and addressing policymakers. Creating graduate programs that effectively integrate research training with teaching and development of communications skills helps graduates compete in an evolving job market. Fortunately, much of the foundation for expanding graduate programs has been established through long-term, targeted investments by the National Science Foundation and other US federal agencies. Leveraging these investments, taking strategic actions at graduate training institutions, and collaborating across activities within the ocean sciences community can support a more multifaceted, integrated graduate education, providing the research, teaching, and communication skills necessary for meeting today’s challenges. 


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