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Plans for Marine Science Education

Discussion in 'Marine Science and Physiology' started by jon stoops, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc MSDT ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    Re-read what RyanT and Tursiops said: I'm also a marine biology professor and couldn't echo it any better. Take math. Lots of it. Take chemistry and physics (if possible) in high school. Major in Biology. Schools that offer "Marine Biology" undergraduate majors are doing it to attract freshmen, not graduate seniors with a degree that's substantially different from a Biology major. Look for schools that have marine labs and are members of the National Association of Marine Laboratories. Also keep in mind that for top students NSF and NOAA offer great, paid internships. (I'm skeptical about "volunteer" ones, though if they pay room and board, great! Some basically charge you to do work for them, and their are enough students who will take them up on it that it works.)

    Lastly, don't rule out a maritime academy. If it's being on the water he loves, ship's officers spend a lot of time on the water. And I suspect the competition isn't as fierce as it is for folks who want to commune with whales. Despite teaching at a University, I'm convinced a lot of students would be better off in the long pursuing this kind of path, or being plumbers or electricians. In my neck of the woods, electricians and plumbers make more than most college professors....

    That said, outside academics marine biologists work for state agencies, the feds, and environmental consulting firms. E.g., in Washington State you need a hydraulic project approval to build, say, a dock. That requires an underwater plant community survey. That, in turn, requires a diving marine biologist....
    RyanT and boulderjohn like this.
  2. Nick Steele

    Nick Steele DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Coral springs
    I finished college 2 years ago with a degree in biology with a focus in marine biology/ecology. I wasn’t involved with high school and just slacked by which made college a lot harder. I also had to work to put myself through college and didn’t have time for internships. I did how ever do some research studies with my professors that gave me hands on experience and didn’t require as much time as an internship. The best thing for a marine biologist is hands on experience! Also if it’s possible get boating/trailering experience it is highly looked for.

    As for schools I did my undergrad at Florida Atlantic University in southeast Florida. They have a good biology program and very knowledgeable professors. One thing I like about my experience was during senior year there is a program called Semster by The Sea although it is located up in Ft Pierce (east central FL) about 90 mins north of the Boca main campus. It gives hands on experience with field practices and classes included marine science, oceanography, aquaculture, marine biodiversity and marine ecology. There is also a scientific cruise that allows students to spend a week aboard a research vessel which the students collect biodiversity data and create a poster to present. I was unfortunate in that I didn’t get to do the cruise because I only learned about it from a friend after the sign up and only 10 students get to go.

    There are many marine biology jobs outside of aquaculture and universities. I ended up choosing an aquaculture career because it suits me and I’m very interested in it.

    If you have any specific questions fell free to pm me.
    Seaweed Doc likes this.
  3. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    The Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman offers a variety of courses, workshops and other activities. After he is certified it might give him a chance to check things out and decide if it is what he really wants to do.

  4. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Advance disclaimer: I am cynical and jaded. I was a Bio. major/Chem. minor for awhile in college, then double-majored in them because I was already taking so much Chemistry the added coursework wasn't extreme, and I took an extra year. That was a long time ago. I don't know how aware you guys are of the practical realities of college, including paying for it. So, from my perspective:

    1.) Before you get your hearts set on a dream school, be mindful out-of-state tuition can be drastically more expensive, you're in a land-locked state nowhere near the coast, and going off to school with your family a round trip plane ride away can add some difficulty.

    2.) How good? Are we talking about 'It's a favorite hobby' good, or are we talking likely to get an impressive college scholarship good?

    Knocking out the kind of grades needed for competitive post-graduate options (like Medical School and Veterinary School, I'd imagine) requires a serious dedication to study. I love reading, but gave up novels while in college because if I fed my mind what it loved, it'd balk when I tried studying Biochemistry from he text book. A person has a limited amount of time, energy and passion. He's going to make some compromises.

    Wait till you're taking 18 credit hours with 3 afternoon labs/week. Sports practice, too? Wow.

    Most of my semesters were not 18 hours, but some were.
    caydiver, Seaweed Doc, RyanT and 3 others like this.
  5. WinfieldNC

    WinfieldNC Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cary, NC
    I graduated with an undergrad degree in Biology and it has served me well. I have attended both of the universities I mention below and both have nationally ranked baseball teams. I currently work as a molecular biologist but unfortunately it isn't associated with marine science.

    If I could do college all over again for fun then I would go for Maritime Archaeology (http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/maritime/) (East Carolina University) at East Carolina University.

    Here is NC State University's Marine Science Program Marine Science | Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences | NC State University. They have marine science concentrations in different areas including biology, chemistry, and physics as well as a couple of others.

    Edit: I do still take classes towards a degree in Marine Science for fun when my work schedule allows.
    FezUSA likes this.

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