Graduate School of Oceanography

URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the world’s premier academic institutions of oceanography and ocean exploration. GSO’s research, education, and outreach activities advance our knowledge of the world’s ocean.

About GSO


The University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the world’s premier academic institutions in oceanography and ocean exploration. Major advances in knowledge of the oceans will arise from GSO research, education and public service. These advances will result from strong investigator-driven research and a uniquely dynamic and integrative curriculum.


The University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography strives to be an internationally recognized premier oceanographic institution conducting fundamental and applied research to understand our changing ocean planet.  We educate marine scientists, policymakers, business leaders and citizens and help develop the knowledge and skills necessary to address present and future marine challenges.

From the Helm

GSO Dean Bruce CorlissSince its founding in 1961, GSO has become recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in oceanography and graduate education, focusing on both blue-water and coastal oceanography across the spectrum of oceanographic science. Our research and educational portfolio, initially focused largely on basic research, now includes a range of applied research in the marine sciences.

Global environmental changes, caused in part by human activity, are rapidly altering the oceans and coastal environments. With climate change the most prominent driver, human society is faced with dramatic challenges from rising sea levels, extreme storm events, warming oceanic waters, altered ecosystems (including failing fisheries), and increasing ocean acidification.

Basic scientific research, today as always, forms the very foundation upon which environmental problems can be solved. In practical terms, the modern shift in oceanography includes determining how the broad oceanographic community responds to these challenges, particularly in terms of mitigating the effects of large-scale changes, and developing methods of improving marine sustainability and resilience.

These are exciting times in oceanography and at GSO with new scientific questions, new technologies to pursue those questions, and array of critical environmental issues that need input and solutions from the oceanographic community. We will continue our time-honored tradition of providing comprehensive and holistic educational experiences for our students, addressing critical scientific research questions, and pursuing national and international outreach efforts as part of our activities at GSO.

I am proud that our faculty, marine research scientists, and graduate students are conducting state-of-the-art work that is simultaneously making a real difference in the world. GSO scientists and outreach professionals take seriously our added responsibility to use our knowledge, experience, creativity, and concern to benefit our fellow citizens.

I hope that you enjoy perusing our website and learning more about the broad range of research and educational activities being carried out at the Graduate School of Oceanography.


Bruce H. Corliss, Dean

Think Big We Do

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