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Scott Louis

Tyler Prize Awarded to Two Outstanding Oceanographers

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When you visit the seaside do you find yourself thinking more about the watery depths than your tan line? Do you often day dream about getting a job on an ocean liner so you can sail the Seven Seas? Did you just answer yes to both of these questions but you're still concerned about your education? Have you ever thought of oceanography?

Just like biology is the study of the bio and geography is the study of the geo, oceanography is the study of the ocean-o. Ocean scientists do their research where the air smells of salt and rotting fish and when dry docked they tend to gather in poorly lit seaside taverns and wax poetically about their voyages over a couple of adult beverages.

Is this getting too romantic? Let's bring it back to reality. This year's Tyler Prize, thought of as the Nobel Prize for the environmental sciences, was awarded to two esteemed scientists, Paul Falkowski and James J. McCarthy, from Rutgers University and Harvard College respectively. Falkowski's research looked to the microscopic creatures living in the ocean and the impact they had on the evolution of Earth's overall climate. McCarthy looked at marine nutrient cycles and put together a big part of the puzzle about how human activity affects Earth's climate. He also worked with many top scientists to help inform policy and determine the global impacts of climate change.

Attending either of these schools is by itself a high achievement, but if you are interested in environmental science and doing research, you can do a lot worse than be influenced by one of these two scientists and those that work with them.

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