Oceanography Cafe

Dr. Janelle Reynolds-Fleming
Seahorse Coastal Consulting
Coastal Teen Science Cafe - Morehead City, North Carolina


Teens walk in to an exciting pizza social. Once it’s time to start, Dr. Reynolds-Fleming spoke to us about what it’s like to be an Oceanographer. She explained the step by step process of what she does when she dives and retrieves data. She showed us some of the equipment that she uses, and even allowed us to see for ourselves how being an oceanographer works. The main thing we learned was the diving process of collecting data. The presenter was on task, yet lively and entertaining. The coolest thing about this café was the hands-on activity of a dive simulation we all got to partake in.


What is Oceanography?

Oceanography also known as oceanology, is the study of the physical and the biological aspects of the ocean. It is an Earth science covering a wide range of topics, including ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries. These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers blend to further knowledge of the world ocean and understanding of processes within: astronomy, biology, chemistry, climatology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology and physics.

Hands on Activity

The teens were divided into groups of seven. Each team received a quadrat, some special measuring tape, and a data sheet. Teens marked they’re data collecting area, and “swam” around observing the different “organisms” (represented my multiple brands of candy and some plastic sea creatures). Teens then tallied up their data, threw their quadrats, collected THAT data, and made some brief analysis of what they saw. This was really cool because we got to experience for ourselves what it’s like to ACTUALLY be in the field of Oceanography doing experiments and collecting data. Plus, we got to eat the candy.