career info (fwd)

From: Mike Williamson (
Date: Mon Apr 17 2000 - 17:05:02 EDT

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 09:51:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Phillip J. Clapham" <>
Subject: Re: career info

A strong background in general biology or zoology (or something similar) at
college level is important, certainly. But connections and experience are
also critical, because they get you into programs that actually do the
work. If you pick a school that has active marine mammal research going on
(some do), then this is obviously a good thing but that shouldnt be the
only consideration for you. Duke, UNC Wilmngton, College of the Atlantic,
Univ of Rhode Island, U Mass Boston, Boston University, Univ of Miami, Univ
of Florida at Gainesville, Univ of Hawaii, Oregon State, U Californai at
Santa Cruz... these are some places that have marine mammal programs in one
form or another.
Basically, you need to:
1) Do well academically and get into a science undergraduate program;
2) Read widely on anything that interests you in marine mammals (and this
means scientific papes in journals, not just popular stuff); this will make
you able to talk intelligently about a subject, and impress those in the
field (who you want to work with);
3) Get experience, even if it means volunteering and working a night job to
do it.
4) Do some research; ideally, this means - when you're older and have some
connection to a research program - some small thing with marine mammals.
But learn how to do science any way you can, even if it means just doing
your own studies of really trivial things (e.g. do black cars have more
bumperstickers than red cars? Are women mor likely to wear seat belts than
men? There are endless qustions you can ask, and addressing them in a
study will give you all the elements of scientific experiment - it's all
basically the same, whether it's this stuff or marine mammal work!)
Check out the "Society for Marine Mammalogy" (search on this) which has a
careers page on the Web site.

Hope this helps.

Phil Clapham

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