Career as a Marine Biologistr


Summary

A Marine Biologist is someone who studies all types of sea creatures, and can choose to specialize in studying large ocean animals, all the way down to microscopic organisms. Everything from whales to the plankton they eat, and everything else in between, can be studied.

Marine Biology is a learning and research field, and many marine biologists, therefore, work in coordination with universities and other educational institutions. In fact, many marine biologists are also teachers and professors during the winter months when less work is being done in the field. Research projects are at the heart of what most marine biologists do, whether it be actually collecting specimens in the field, compiling research data, finding real life applications for the research data, or classroom teaching.

Another potential career for a marine biology graduate would be to become a hydrologist, which is a scientist or researcher that studies bodies of water and helps to find ways to eliminate water pollution. There are actually many environmental careers that can be attained with a degree in marine biology. Even a fish and game warden, which is something akin to an environmental police officer, is a possible career move for a marine biology graduate.

Marine Biotechnology, one of the possible specializations, involves developing and testing new drug treatments and protocols that are derived from ocean life. Another specialization is molecular biology, which is helpful in identifying microorganisms as well as diagnosing diseases that are caused by microorganisms.

Work Environment

Oceanography centers, laboratories, aquariums, research boats and vessels are some of the possibilities for field workplaces. Travel to interesting places is one of the possible perks for a career in marine biology. Travel is really dependent on what type of marine life you are going to study. If you work in a lab, then obviously you will do very little travelling, if at all. If you get a job at the zoo or at an aquarium, the position will be based there, with perhaps the occasional need to travel for a research project. If you are researching the migration of whales or are doing deep sea research, then you can expect to be travelling and to be out at sea for extended periods of time. Laboratory work could involve working directly with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or on behalf of a university's research program. Virtually every body of salt water on the planet is being studied by marine biologists, from the Caribbean seas to the arctic ocean. Drug companies conduct marine research as well, as marine life is often at the cutting edge of research.

Entry Level Education

  • B.Sc. in Life Sciences.
  • Master of Science in Marine Biology.
  • Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Marine Biology.

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