what can i do to become a marine biologist?
Ive always had an immense passion for this subject, now heading into highschool i would like to know what are the small steps that i can take to ensure getting into one of the best colleges for marine biology or zoology. I have takes approxamately 15 dives and passes the first level exam, That is one thing i am hoping to build on. If other than that there is any advice, please feel free to comment.
Students in biology programs study biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, and evolution in addition to taking courses in physics, chemistry, calculus, and statistics. Biology students can choose elective courses to supplement the required courses for their major, and some schools offer courses in marine ecology and zoology, which is study of the animal kingdom. Biology programs have a large laboratory component, so students in these programs gain experience working with laboratory tools and following laboratory and research protocols.
Like students in general biology programs, zoology students take courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. After completing their core coursework in biology, zoology students take courses that focus on animal behavior and physiology or they may study particular types of animals like insects, birds, fish, or mammals.
Some colleges and universities offer undergraduate degree programs in marine biology. Marine biology students take courses that focus on oceanography, marine vegetation, marine invertebrates, marine vertebrates, and marine ecology. Many of the schools that offer marine biology programs are located near an ocean. Attending a program near an ocean can present students with opportunities to do valuable field work under the supervision of marine biologists conducting research.
Some marine biology jobs are available to those whose highest degree is a bachelor’s degree, but advancement often requires earning at least a master’s degree. Master’s degree programs in marine science focus on research and advanced study. Students take courses in biostatistics, oceanography, and marine chemistry, ecosystems, and geology. They may then choose electives in their area of interest. Students may choose to focus on the ecology of a specific marine area, or they may study a type of marine organism, like corals, fish, mammals, or plankton. Graduate students are also expected to conduct some original research in their area of interest and present a thesis.
Marine biologists who want to conduct independent research will most likely need a PhD. Like master’s degree programs, PhD programs include advanced study in an area of interest. PhD students must carry out original research to contribute to the body of knowledge in their field and write and defend a dissertation on their research.
Marine biology includes the associated disciplines of physical, geological and chemical oceanography.
Fundamentally, biologists seek to understand the physical characteristics of animals, their behaviors, interactions between animals, and the impact of animals on their environments. Biology also includes the impact of humans on animal environments.
Marine biologists focus on wildlife found in the oceans and other saltwater environments (for example, estuaries and wetlands).
The titles “marine biologist” or “marine scientist” actually cover many jobs in the marine sciences. As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) points out, “a marine biologist might be a biological technician, ichthyologist, fishery biologist, marine mammologist, systems analyst, or a mathematician.”
A romantic view of a marine biologist is of a professional working with dolphins or whales, conducting exciting experiments in intelligence and interaction.
Realistically, though, very few marine biologists are able to spend their careers exclusively studying whales or training dolphins.
PROCESS FOR BECOMING A MARINE BIOLOGIST
Because job options are so wide-ranging, becoming a marine biologist can take as little as obtaining a biology degree or as much as securing a doctorate (PhD).
Here is a basic process for becoming a marine biologist:
Gain Recreational, Voluntary And High School Experience In Life Sciences
The best way to discover a passion for marine biology is to spend as much time as possible engaging in related activities. This includes volunteering for biology-related projects such as animal counts or environmental clean ups.
It is also wise to look for work experience in anything biology-related including aquariums, animal sanctuaries and zoos.
Take Science Electives In High School
Marine biologists study a range of sciences and must be able to do so at a college level.
Use time in high school to establish basic student aptitude for sciences.
Earn A Bachelor’s Degree In Biology
Students should study biology, chemistry, physics, geology and ecology, ideally earning a biology or marine biology degree.
At this stage, specialization in marine sciences is feasible, though not absolutely necessary.
Seek internships and research opportunities. These can help a candidate determine areas of specialization and get employment after college.
Choose a school with a good biology program. Universities that offer opportunities for specialization in marine biology are valuable.
Consider a school that combines a bachelor’s-master’s program in order to gain an advanced degree in less time (see below).
Get An Entry-Level Job In Marine Biology
Candidates will need a bachelor’s degree in biology.
This career stage can be a good time to gain specialized experience such as focusing on a species, region or even job function.
Possible employers at this level include government agencies, labs, research organizations and labs.
Obtain Advanced Degrees (Master’s And Doctorate), According To Career Goals.
Advanced degrees can boost career options as well as earning power.
A master’s degree is often necessary for teaching and for some consulting and research jobs.
A marine biology PhD is often required for high-level jobs such as college-level instruction, program team leadership or independent research director.