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CLOCK­WORK In an aver­age day on land, this is what an oceanographer’s timetable might look like: 9am: Get to of­fice. Dis­cuss projects with PhD stu­dents. Mon­i­tor ex­per­i­ments 1.15pm: Lunch Oceanog­ra­phy is for those who love the sea and are fas­ci­nated by the mul­ti­tude of life it sup­ports and af­fects. A part of life sciences, oceanog­ra­phy in­cludes study of cur­rents, waves, plate tec­ton­ics, ge­ol­ogy of the sea floor and all the chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal pro­cesses re­lated to the oceans. In­dia has about 600 oceanog­ra­phers, ex­clud­ing re­searchers in the in­dus­try. Oceanog­ra­phers are in­volved in as­sign­ments in govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions, national lab­o­ra­to­ries, uni­ver­si­ties, and other or­gan­i­sa­tions. Or­gan­i­sa­tions re­quir­ing their ex­per­tise in­clude the National In­sti­tute of Oceanog­ra­phy, Cen­tre for Earth Science Stud­ies, Naval Phys­i­cal and Oceano­graphic Lab­o­ra­tory, National In­sti­tute of Ocean Tech­nol­ogy etc. This science has spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance in th­ese times as it helps sci­en­tists un­der­stand the im­pact of global cli­mate changes, es­pe­cially global warm­ing and the oceans are linked to the at­mos­phere be­cause of vapouri­sa­tion, con­den­sa­tion and pre­cip­i­ta­tion, etc. The bi­o­log­i­cal branch of this science is aligned with marine bi­ol­ogy and is re­lated to study of or­gan­isms and their ocean en­vi­ron­ment. Chem­i­cal oceanog­ra­phy stud­ies ocean chem­istry and its chem­i­cal in­ter­ac­tion with the at­mos­phere. Ge­ol­ogy in­cludes study of the ge­ol­ogy of the ocean floor. Phys­i­cal oceanog­ra­phy is study of the ocean’s tem­per­a­ture-salin­ity struc­ture, waves, tides etc 2pm: An­a­lyse sam­ples. Write a re­search pa­per, visit the li­brary for ref­er­ence work. Man­age ad­min­is­tra­tive work re­lated to on­go­ing and fu­ture re­search 5.30pm: Leave the lab­o­ra­tory for the day. On a ship, work goes on 24/7. Crew mem­bers have two shifts of four hours each in a day. For sci­en­tists, the shift is ad­justed ac­cord­ing to ex­per­i­ments

THE PAY­OFF An en­try-level sci­en­tist with a masters/or PhD de­gree earns a gross salary of around R30,000 per month. The pay can go up to R1.5 lakh per month at se­nior lev­els. In ad­di­tion, al­most all sci­en­tific in­sti­tu­tions un­der the Govern­ment of In­dia pro­vide ad­di­tional ben­e­fits such as free med­i­cal as­sis­tance (for the sci­en­tist’s fam­ily, too), leave travel con­ces­sion, leave en­cash­ment (limited) on re­tire­ment etc. In aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, the en­try-level salary will be at par with an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor’s pay

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