Math

I was a math major in college, and those skills were certainly necessary to study ocean physics as a graduate student. Studying plastic pollution in the ocean uses those math skills as well, but I also rely on reading and talking to people outside of my immediate area...

Has the chance of hitting an object of greater concern today, or has that risk essentially stayed the same over the last 15 or 20 years?

Modern technology assists seafarers in ways that were unimaginable just decades ago.  Weather satellites and meteorological models provide excellent real-time information about weather conditions, as well as reliable forecasts days out.  State of the art satellite...