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marine biology

Posts: 28
Eminent Member
Topic starter

I'm really interested in it. I want to go to college and major in it, and I don't know if I should stay local, or just go for it and go somewhere where I can get a hands on experience in college. I was looking into the University of the Virgin Islands, and the St. Thomas campus is gorgeous, and maybe it would be good to go here since I want to move to the islands some day. I think marine biology is what I would really like to do, I love marine animals, especially sea turtles, DOLPHINS, and whales. It would be amazing to work with them someday. So I need advice...should I go for it and apply to UVI?

Posted : October 26, 2007 11:59 am
Posts: 862
Prominent Member

Just a heads up--most marine biologists do not work with the large animals. It is very difficult to get into those fields and there are very few opportunities to do so in the VI. This is just a breakdown of a typical life of a marine biologist: You may get a couple of months in the field collecting data (if you are really really lucky) like tissue samples from corals and then the rest of the year work in in a lab processing samples, doing molecular/genetic analysis, collecting data, writing reports,designing experiments, doing statistics etc etc. You need to have excellent writing skills (which most people don't realize about science), mathematical training in calculus and statistics, chemistry (general, organic, biochemistry), physics oh and biology on top of that. If you want to progress and get a job that pays a decent wage you need at least a master's degree which is another 2-3 of school and a PhD (+ 5 years). Go for it if you think you can handle it. It takes a tremendous commitment.

My advice as someone in the field--go to the best school you can, wherever you are, major in biology or another science like chemistry and then go to graduate school in marine biology or similar. Most people who attend schools in places not near the ocean do summer internships at marine labs like Duke, Mote, Woodshole and other places to get research experience.

Like I said before, there are not many opportunities to live full time and work full time in marine biology related jobs down here, especially w/o an advanced degree. PM me if you want more specifics.

Posted : October 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

Listen to stxem. I bet a lot of people are initially attracted to marine biology due to Flipper. If you enjoy the water and are curious about nature, you might be a marine biologist. Most jobs require advanced degrees, so your B.S. is just the beginning. UVI is a good school- your own beach and research facilities outside the door of the marine science center. However you may end up counting particles of fish poop in a column of water or some such very exciting research opportunities. 😉

Posted : October 26, 2007 4:52 pm
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