Data on my career

From: Peter M Scheifele (
Date: Sun Dec 03 2000 - 11:55:52 EST

From: Peter M Scheifele <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 19:13:13 -0500
Subject: Data on my career
Message-ID: <>

Hi Sally
Here are your answers:
1.What is your official tittle or proffesion?

My profession is "Animal Bioacoustics."
My title is "Director of Bioacoustic Research."

2.How many years,have you been in this job/proffesion?

I have been in line of work for 18 years.

3.Briefly describe your most responsibility?

My greatest responsibility in the past was the care and training of
whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions at Mystic Aquarium as "Head
Trainer." Currently my big responsibilities include the acoustic safety
of whales in the St. Lawrence River Estuary, advising my students and
conducting my research.

4.What aspect/part of your job is most demanding?

Research at sea is the most demanding aspect of my job.

5.What aspect/part of your job is most gratifying or enjoyable?

There is literally nothing about my job that is either boring or not
enjoyable. I honestly enjoy my work however, working and saving the
animals is extremely gratifying as is seeing my students excel in the

6.At what point of your life did you realize that you wanted to do this?

As a young man of some 28 years (while I was in the Navy).

7.How does technology (,internet)affect your job?

I use technology extensively. This includes my acoustic equipment
(sonars and hydrophones, spectrum analysers) and computers with a host of
technical software for acoustical analysis, statistical analysis, data
base management and mapping; research vessels, remotely operated vehicles
(ROVs) and sometimes submersibles.

8.How was your proffesion changed in the past five years?

Although I specialize in whale hearing and sound production, I do some
work with terrestrials. The specific study of whale hearing is very
young and there are only a handful of researchers studying it in the
world. New discoveries are being made all of the time. New equipment
and programs are being developed yearly. I travel to some really
interesting places including an ice camp that is located 15 miles south
of the north pole! I get to work with foreign scientists from all over
the world. I have circumnavigated the globe 5 times, dove in Arctic
waters and in Hawaiian waters. Its a grand time to be doing this work!!

9.Is their a high demand for your job?

Currently, yes, somewhat because of the concern that noise in the oceans
is rising and is becoming harmful the marine mammals.

10.Who do you report to?

I report to our center director and the dean.

11.What are your work hours?

My work hours vary. At the university they are daily from 0800 to 1700
hours (5:00 PM). At sea they may be around the clock and its not
uncommon to work 12 - 16 hours a day.

12.Are you the first in your family to enter this proffesion,or is it a
family traddition?

I am the first in my field and first to earn a PhD.

13.Does your job/proffesion include benefits? if yes,list them with #1
being the most valuable(I.e...paid medical insurance)

a- medical benefits (insurance)
b- my paycheck
c- retirement package

14.Would you recomend this proffesion? explain why or why not!.

I would recommend being a scientist in any field however I caution that
much schooling is required and it can be hard life as one has to seek
grants to interest benefactors in supporting one's research. This can be
hard at times. There is also a lot of quite mundane writing and analyses
to be done. Teaching augments that and working for a university is nice
but does not pay a lot especially if you have a family to support. My
only regret is the time I spend away from my wife and two children as I
cannot take them everywhere I go.

I hope this helps you out and I wish you good luck!
Best Regards,

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