The oceanography collection serves the needs of faculty and students in the Oceanography Department as well as a number of other departments across campus. These include the departments of geological sciences, geophysics and astronomy, biology, zoology, and the Ocean Studies Council, Remote Sensing Council, Westwater Research Centre, Hydrology Program, and the Program in Atmospheric Science.

Current areas of collecting

The oceanography selector covers estuarine processes, sea level, seawater, satellite remote sensing, coastal upwelling, plate tectonics, air-sea interaction, ocean circulation, ocean waves, marine pollution, marine geochemistry, underwater exploration, submarine topography, chemical and physical oceanography, marine sediments, marine resources, meteorology, plankton ecology, physiology and primary organic production of the sea, and natural product chemistry. Special emphasis is on oceanography of the North Pacific, particularly along the British Columbia coast.

Research and publishing characteristics

Periodicals are the most useful in oceanography; books are of lesser importance. Government publications are important for regional studies. Publications of oceanographic institutions are also important.


Predominantly English.

Geographic origin

Predominantly North American and European.


Very little is selected about the oceanography of the Arctic, Antarctic, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Woodward Library: Biological aspects of oceanography.