The Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography offers undergraduate degree programs including a joint honours degree program in geophysics and physical oceanography. Graduate programs are also offered in physical oceanography at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels.
Research is actively pursued by the Physical Oceanography Group in experimental, theoretical and computational aspects of physical oceanography which encompasses coastal oceanography, numerical modelling, ocean acoustics, ocean mixing, fisheries oceanography, laboratory fluid dynamics, ocean instrumentation and operational oceanography.
Experimental work is for the most part field oriented and is primarily focused on understanding circulation in coastal embayments of Newfoundland, the North Atlantic circulation and the circulation on the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf. Research also includes collaborative studies at the national and international level which includes the Global Ocean Ecosystem Experiment (GLOBEC) program for which the secretariat of the Canadian national program is maintained at Memorial University. Another example is the Fishmass project where the application of Doppler sonar systems to fisheries acoustics involves industry and research groups in Canada, the United States, and Norway.
Research facilities include the Bonne Bay Marine Station located in Bonne Bay NL – a world-class research and teaching facility operated by Memorial University in cooperation with the Gros Morne Co-operating Association. The Marine Station includes an innovative ocean observatory linked to the Internet providing researchers near and far the ability to observe and analyze the influence of the physical environment on the temporal variability of marine ecosystems.