August 19, 2019 | 90° F

Oceanography Club brings students closer to aquatic world


Courtesy of Christina McCosker | Members of the Oceanography club venture outside of the classroom to learn about the ocean and aquatic life. The club takes a hands-on aproach by organizing volunteer events and visits to aquariums and beaches.

The Oceanography Club allows students to enjoy aquatic life and learn about it without the pressure of assignments and exams. 

“The Oceanography Club is different from an oceanography class, because most of the classes are filled with students enrolled in the marine sciences major, whereas the club consists of a variety of people from different majors who share an interest in the ocean,” said Shawn Hazlett, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior and vice president of the club.

The fact that students gather together for the same hobby is great, and the club really serves as an outlet to help members make friends with people who share a common enthusiasm for nature, said Nicole Grzybowski, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior and president of the group.

“My favorite part about the club is that there are so many people who have different majors and interests, but are just commonly connected by their love for the ocean and marine life. It really is a diverse group of students, and we learn a lot from each other,” said Christina McCosker, secretary of the club.

This club has become a source of comfort and relaxation to McCosker because she feels as though it is a place where she can let go and be herself, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior said.

“I love how one passion can bring together so many strangers from different backgrounds. We have become more like a family than a group of friends, and that’s helped me get through any tough classes or hard times I’ve had here,” she said.

The club has many events coming up that not only raise awareness for important causes, but are also fun ways for students to spend free time, McCosker said.

The club is planning for a "Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweep" along the Jersey coast on Nov. 22, she said. They will also be screening a documentary in place of their Nov. 25 meeting.

Along with events, the Oceanography Club goes on numerous trips to provide hands-on experiences in volunteering and learning, Grzybowski said.

“Each year we take a trip to an aquarium, we go fishing on a charter boat each spring and for spring break we take a few members who are very active in the club to the Florida Keys and do a research project with REEF,” Hazlett said.

The organization has many goals that the board and its members aim to accomplish as the school year proceeds, Grzybowski said.

“The goals of the club are to provide students with similar interests a place to connect and network with each other, as well use our passion and interest to promote awareness of the ocean and also volunteer with different organizations that focus on environmental issues regarding the ocean and ocean systems,” Grzybowski said.

No prior knowledge is needed in order to join this club, Hazlett said. 

In the future, the club plans to work on getting its name out across campus and working on outreach. 

The Oceanography Club is not very well known and does not connect very often with different programs in the University, Grzybowski said.

“Our club is currently very small, but we are all very fun and friendly and always excited to meet new people," she said. "Many of us often become friends and make great connections along the way, as well as usually learn something we may not have known before, whether it be about the ocean or not."

Nicole Osztrogonacz is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in journalism and media studies. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. Find her on Twitter @nikki_osz for more.

Nicole Osztrogonacz

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