Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek ὠκεανός "ocean" and γράφω "write"), also known as oceanology, is the scientific study of the ocean. It is an important Earth science, which covers a wide range of topics, including ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries. These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers utilize to glean further knowledge of the world ocean, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, climatology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology and physics. Paleoceanography studies the history of the oceans in the geologic past. An oceanographer is a person who studies many matters concerned with oceans including marine geology, physics, chemistry and biology.
Staffordshire (/ˈstæfərdˌʃɪər, -ʃər/; postal abbreviation Staffs.) is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.
The largest settlement in Staffordshire is Stoke-on-Trent, which is administered as an independent unitary authority, separately from the rest of the county. Lichfield, a smaller settlement, is a cathedral city. Other major settlements include Stafford, Burton upon Trent, Cannock, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Rugeley, Leek, and Tamworth.
Smaller towns include Stone, Cheadle, Uttoxeter, Burntwood/Chasetown, Eccleshall, Biddulph, Penkridge and the large villages of Wombourne, Kinver, Tutbury, Alrewas, Barton-under-Needwood, Stretton and Abbots Bromley. Cannock Chase AONB is within the county as well as parts of the National Forest and the Peak District national park.
Wolverhampton, Walsall, West Bromwich and Smethwick are within the historic county boundaries of Staffordshire, but since 1974 have been part of the West Midlands county.
Apart from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire is divided into the districts of Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands, and Tamworth.