Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 18 Issue 04

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Volume 18, No. 4
Pages 136 - 138

THE OCEANOGRAPHY CLASSROOM • The Importance of Being Quantitative

Matthias Tomczak
First Paragraph

When I went to university forty years ago, I was taught the facts about the ocean and what lives in it, plain and simple. The method of instruction followed by my instructors was straightforward and can still be found in classical oceanography textbooks on library shelves: geomorphology of the seafloor; physical and chemical properties of seawater; water masses; ocean circulation; waves; tides; marine life; and so on. Discussion of the scientific method that produced the presented facts and reflection on the nature of scientific investigation was left to discussions with fellow students in the coffee shop, and in any case, it was not high on the agenda. Science was interesting as such and had not yet gained the tainted reputation of the years to come that resulted from nuclear accidents, ozone depletion, greenhouse warming, and other calamities.


Tomczak, M. 2005. Education: The importance of being quantitative. Oceanography 18(4):136–138, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2005.19.