Research articles

A Call for a Cultural Shift in Oceanography


Oceanography stands at a critical juncture, confronting the coupled challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss while also addressing calls for equity and justice in ocean economic development and governance. This paper defines and advocates for the weaving of three perspectives into oceanography education, research, and policy practice: the Socio-Ecological Lens, the Humanist Approach, and Equitable Intercultural Practice. By embracing these frameworks, the field can transcend the challenges of classical oceanography, paving the way for academic and professional practices that are more inclusive, equitable, and attuned to the intricacies of human-ocean relationships. Such a shift will foster interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration, elevate the role of humanities in oceanographic education, and push for decolonizing methodologies for ocean policy engagement, thereby enabling ethical career paths. Ultimately, these perspectives will empower oceanographers to cultivate a deeper and more equitable bond with the oceans, helping them to steer society with the transformative science practices that are fundamentally needed in a successful United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.