Marine & Earth Sciences

Collection Statement

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s PhD program is organized into three separate academic programs: the Climate-Ocean-Atmosphere Program; Geosciences of the Earth, Oceans, and Planets; and the Ocean Biosciences Program. Scripps offers two Masters’ programs, a Master of Science research based degree, and a Master of Advanced Studies interdisciplinary program focusing on the interface between ocean sciences and public policy.  Scripps also offers two undergraduate majors (BS), Earth Sciences and Marine Biology.  Scripps has faculty appointees, non-faculty academic research appointees, academic specialists, academic project scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Scripps Research areas are very broad and diverse, the Institution describes them as Integrated Research Themes. In 1995 and 2010, the National Research Council ranked Scripps the top Oceanography doctoral program and first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide.

UC San Diego Library selects electronic and print materials supporting Scripps research and education, and more broadly for marine sciences.  Materials in marine science are selected for undergraduate use, as well as for the general reader.

By UC Library’s practice, the collection functions as a system-wide resource collection for oceanography, providing many items via Interlibrary Loan (net lender). In collection development documents, the UC San Diego Library has listed the collection as a "collection of distinction."  The Library's collection development in oceanography is comprehensive, and does not follow the fragmented scope of research at Scripps.  Materials are collected in oceanography that have no immediate audience at Scripps, yet contribute towards a comprehensive system-wide resource collection for Scripps, UCSD, and the University of California.

Oceanography, by its very nature, is multidisciplinary.  Studies of the ocean cover many different aspects, spanning many scientific disciplines both basic and applied, including physics, chemistry, geology, biology, meteorology, climatology, fisheries, and paleontology, as well as some social sciences, including marine policy, fishery economics, law of the sea, and coast zone management. 

Outside of the marine sciences, it is impossible for The Library to collect comprehensively for Scripps' needs; however, those needs encompass resources much more comprehensively collected at other UC libraries. Collection development is undertaken within the context of other collections within the UC system (e.g. geology).  The UC San Diego Library aims to collect materials on all aspects of the marine environment, and collects strongly but not comprehensively in climatology and meteorology, as well as in geophysics, geodesy, and seismology.  Geophysics, geodesy, and seismology support the research of Scripps's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. Supporting materials are collected in geology, zoology, and ecology. However geology, zoology, and ecology are collected with an eye to marine sciences, so that general and specific materials useful to marine science are collected, but not everything is collected that might be useful. Materials that are principally relevant to the terrestrial environment are not collected, though some limited materials may be available to round out the collection, e.g. entomology, ornithology excluding seabirds and penguins, herpetology excluding sea turtles, terrestrial ecology, terrestrial mammals, etc.


The UC San Diego Library also collects in these subject areas, mainly to round out the collection: environmental sciences; air/soil/water pollution; hydrology; water resources; wastewater engineering; groundwater resources; GIS; satellite mapping and remote sensing; soil sciences; and botany, excluding marine species.

The Library collects comprehensively in scientific expedition reports with a focus or strong component on the marine sciences.  These are usually published in sets, and are retrospectively purchased when items are identified.

Natural products chemistry relevant to the marine environment is collected, and historically The Library has had a strong journal collection in this area.

Ocean charts (hydrographic or bathymetric charts) are collected, particularly retrospectively, with the collection strong for 20th century charting. Active receipts are charts for U.S. waters produced by the National Ocean Service. The Department of Defense discontinued print charts for worldwide waters in 2010. Ocean charts produced by the national hydrographic agencies of other countries (e.g. British Admiralty, Mexico's Secretaria Marina, etc.) are collected as needed when Scripps' interest is identified, or as opportunity presents, but not comprehensively, with a focus on the Indo-Pacific and Southern oceans. Some geological and topographic maps are collected, and is a passive collection, with San Diego County geological mapping being the only area of active collection. California, Antarctic and ocean geological mapping is always retained.

Scripps Archives collection is the foremost oceanographic archives, documenting the history of Scripps and oceanography, with some coverage of local La Jolla and San Diego history.

Contact Information

Amy Butros
Marine & Earth Sciences Librarian

UC San Diego Library
University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0699
La Jolla, CA 92093-0699

Tel: 858-822-3074