Oceanographic Centers & Institutes
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Oceanographic Centers & Institutes


Oceanographic centers and institutes are created by governments, business and industry, educational institutions, consumer groups and any combination thereof. Some oceanographic centers and institutes are directly tied to the founding bodies, some are adjuncts, and others are entirely autonomous.

Oceanographic centers and institutes serve a variety of functions, usually defined in a mission statement and often further expanded upon in a goals or vision statement. Some of these functions may include:
  • Promotion of education, research, development and commerce relating to ocean resources and the ocean environment;
  • Funding of oceanographic research and development efforts;
  • Encouraging development of career opportunities in oceanography and facilitation of job placement within various oceanography and marine disciplines:
  • Raising public awareness of marine issues, challenges or hazards or bringing a particular aspect of oceanography to the forefront of the public consciousness;
  • Serving as a watchdog or monitor for oceanographic research and for industries procuring benefits from the sea such as the fishing, whaling, cruise, and oil and gas industries to insure compliance with safety procedures, environmental standards, resource usage quotas (such as fishing catch quotas), ethical standards and codes of conduct.
  • Lobbying lawmaking bodies for enactment of laws either favorable to the marine environment or restrictive to aspects of its development.
Oceanographic centers and institutes in the private sector are most often non-profit entities, but may also be for-profit companies such as think tanks engaged in furthering knowledge of the oceans and marine research. Oceanographic centers and institutes may be regional, national or international in scope and influence.


Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 5 February 2009.


Follow links to the right to learn more about oceanographic centers and institutes, the functions each performs and the benefits that derive from their existence. At the left margin, Related Links address topics of interest pertaining to oceanography and highlight centers, institutes, agencies and organizations dedicated to a diverse range of oceanographic disciplines. View the Oceanography SiteMap for a complete list of oceanography and ocean-related topics.


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