What “Oceanography” really means

Oceanography Merit Badge

I’m a Scouts BSA Counsellor for the Oceanography Merit Badge. My son recently had his Eagle Scout Court of Honor and my wife (who’s not an oceanographer) and I were looking at his 37 merit badge patches. She came across his Oceanography patch (see image) but didn’t know what it was for. She started guessing. I realized that her guesses were trial definitions of “Oceanography” and that many people must associate them with our field. So, for posterity, here’s what “Oceanography” really means:

  • Beach maintenance
  • Beach climate
  • Beach safety
  • Vacationing
  • Sand castles
  • Water anger
  • Something to do with boat travel in knots
  • Star gazing in the water

[Of course, the final one is correct]