Discover Oceanography

We use the oceans for food, energy, transport and even recreation. The oceans and their inhabitants play vital roles in our planet’s climate and life-support systems. Understanding the marine environment is therefore vital if we are to unravel how our planet works and what the future holds for us. To do this, marine science brings together the traditional disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology and geography – and offers a great opportunity to experience the application of these subjects.

Although the oceans cover 70% of the surface of the Earth, understanding the marine environment begins right on our doorstep. Estuaries, such as Southampton Water, are ideal places to see some of the fundamental processes that work in the oceans. With 37% of the world’s population living on or near the coast, estuaries are also key areas where human activities have their first impact on the marine environment.

The resources on these pages can be used independently or alongside the Discover Oceanography boat trip for schools. These include lesson plans that can be used formally in a school context or as projects for students to complete individually at home. There are also activities students can carry out online, and information on studying Oceanography and Marine Science at University.

To access the ‘For Teachers’ section, please contact the School-University Partnership Officer on or 023 8059 7521 for the password.