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Academic Programs

Chemical Oceanography & Biogeochemistry

Chemical oceanographers study the mechanisms that control the distribution of elements and compounds in the atmosphere, ocean, coastal waterways, and sediments on the sea floor.

Research Highlights

(click on the professor’s name to take you to their individual research page.)


Dr. Chanton

  • using natural abundance radiocarbon to track oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico
  • food-web dynamics
  • the role of wetlands in supplying greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and interactions with carbon cycling
  • the effects of permafrost decomposition on the atmosphere’s carbon balance

Dr. Landing

  • studying the chemical, biological, and physical processes that affect trace-element distributions and behavior in marine, freshwater, and atmospheric environments
  • the relative importance of atmospheric deposition to the biogeochemical cycles of elements (and carbon) in the oceans
  • low-temperature aqueous geochemistry, biochemistry of trace elements in marine and fresh waters with emphasis on the effects of biological and inorganic processes on dissolved/particulate fractionation, solution speciation, and redox chemistry

Dr. Knapp

  • nitrogen cycling
  • marine biogeochemistry
  • isotope geochemistry
  • nitrogen fixation


Dr. Spencer

  • biogeochemistry
  • mechanistic controls on organic matter export and fate in major watersheds and adjacent coastal systems
  • understanding impacts such as land-use change and climate change from the Arctic to the tropics on carbon cycling and flux from land-ocean
  • the source and role of glacier organic matter and its ramifications for downstream receiving environments
  • organic matter method development



Masters & Ph.D. Oceanography Graduate Program General Guidelines

Graduate Application Info

How to Apply

The application process at FSU is completely online. See the checklist below for required application materials and a link to the online application.

The department admits new students year round, though most of the faculty tend to admit students in spring to begin the following fall.

Department application deadlines for Meteorology are:

  • For Fall admission - January 15th
  • For Spring admission - November 1st


Department application deadlines for Geology are:

  • For Fall admission - January 15th
  • For Spring admission - October 1st

Department application deadlines for all other EOAS programs are:

  • For Fall admission - February 15th
  • For Spring admission - September 15th


University deadlines may differ. Please refer to the FSU Graduate Admissions office for university deadlines. You are advised to submit your application and supporting materials at least three months in advance of the semester you wish to enter. You may apply later than these department guidelines, but there are less likely to be openings available.

For further information about the university admissions process, visit the FSU Office of Admissions. For general information on funding opportunities, news, and events, degree programs, fee waivers, as well as University contact information, visit the Graduate School website. If you have questions about the Oceanography or Aquatic Environmental Science programs, contact the Academic Coordinator.

If you’re interested in specific courses, use the Course Lookup Form to search the Catalog of future, current, and past courses.

Use the following checklist to ensure you have correctly completed the application process: View/Print an Adobe version of this checklist



US or International On-Line Application
(opens in a separate window)
  • Read the instructions for this form carefully
  • Fill out the form completely
  • The online application system will as you for information that his needed both by our department and by the university, including your Statement of Interest
_____ Statement of Interest
  • State your reasons for choosing our department/area and your academic goals
  • You may wish to include information about your academic background and experience
  • This is part of the online application
_____ $30 Application Fee
  • A check or money order should be made payable to The Florida State University
  • This fee is not optional
  • The Office of Graduate Admissions will not process your application without it
  • The Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science department has no mechanism by which we can request a waiver or pay the fee for you
_____ Official Test Results
  • As soon as possible, request that your GRE (and TOEFL if international) scores be sent to the university
  • FSU’s code is 5219
  • The Oceanography area’s code is 0508
  • The Geology area’s code is 0504
  • The Meteorology area’s code is 0507
  • International applicants must send TOEFL scores
  • These two requirements cannot be waived, postponed, or dismissed
  • The Office of Admissions will not process your application without them

Two Official Transcripts
  • These documents are requried from every university, college or school you have attended
  • The Office of Graduate Admissions will not accept copies


Three Letters of Recommendation
  • There is no specific form for these letters
  • University letterhead is acceptable
  • They may be mailed through the FSU application system or may be mailed directly to the EOAS Department/Oceanography area



It is in your best interest to complete your application as early in the admission season as possible.
Incomplete folders are not considered.


In addition, after reviewing the list of faculty inlcuded in our departmental brochure, you may directly contact the faculty member(s) whose research interests most closely parallel your own. The department does not admit students without a faculty sponsor.