Subject: Careers:your job and the ocean (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Mon, 24 Nov 1997 11:23:19 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 12:43:54 -1000 (HST)
From: Jen Philips <>
Subject: Re:your job and the ocean 

Hi Greatie!  I do have fun SCUBA diving, especially in Hawaii.  The water
here is pretty warm and there're very beautiful fish to see.  You should
get certified to dive as soon as you can.  So, do you want to be a marine
biologist?  I have some info for you below.  If you need more, just let
me know.

To be a marine biologist:

There are at least two very different paths a person can follow when
interested in becoming involved with marine mammals as a career.  One is
marine mammal training, the other is scientific investigation.  (Of course
there are others, like government offices in marine mammal protection,
child education, etc, but these are the main career paths).  The education
and experience you must get are very different for each.  If a person
wants to train marine mammals at sea life parks, for shows and exibits, he
or she can do nothing better than to start getting experience now.  A
degree in biology, marine biology, zoology, etc is helpful, but not
required for positions in training.  Parks tend to hire people with
experience, especially people who have had beginning level positions in
their park.  Specialized education in animal training is available and
also helpful, such a Moorepark college in Southern California.  But there
isn't quite so large an emphasis on advanced education.  In high school,
you should start getting yourself educated in the sciences, biology and
chemistry especially.  But just take general classes too, because even
English Literature could help you.

The other path in marine mammal careers is research.  These people study
the lives and processes of marine mammals, both in captivity and in the
wild, write the results of their observations into scientific journals.
In order to do this, one must go to college!  The first step of course is
to get your bachelor's degree, in fields such as biology, marine biology,
zoology, psychology, and psychobiology.  Then, on to graduate school, of
which work through your PhD is necessary.  I, for example, will continue
research with marine mammals, and will eventually get an academic position
at a university somewhere where I will teach undergraduates, do my
research, attend conferences, write articles in journals, and instruct
my own graduate students.  This is very challenging, but very rewarding
and very exciting.  Field work with whales in Hawaii is definitely fun!  

Hope this helps!  Please write again if you need more advice!


Jen Philips


Jennifer D. Philips

Marine Mammal Research Program - HIMB		(808) 236-4001
University of Hawaii, Manoa          
Honolulu, HI  96822	      "First, there were some amoebas. Deviant
			       amoebas adapted better to the environment,
			       thus becoming monkeys..."