Subject: About Marine Mammal Careers, Again

Phil Colla (pcolla@cts.com)
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 13:48:48 -0800

>I love Whales (orcas) Im 16 and i was wondering what do you have to 
>do to work with whales??I thought about training?? Also Education 
>for working with these WHALES.

I'll give you an answer that I gave to someone else earlier today.
I think it will give you the info you need.

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>i am studying about a career in Marine Biology.  Are there different careers
>in this field?  I am 11 years old and love whales, dolphins, and other sea
>mammal and want to be a marine biologist.

There are many careers in Marine Biology.  If you focus on whales, dolphins
and marine mammals, you might end up becoming a specialist in marine
mammalogy.
These careers require that your take many years of science classes, in school
and at a university.  They are not high paying, but often careers in marine
biology allow you to work in fascinating places with special animals.

Here is a web page that gives a lot of good information about a career in
marine mammalogy.  It is sponsored by the Society for Marine Mammalogy:

Strategies for Pursuing a Career in Marine Mammalogy:
http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~smm/strat.htm

Here are some suggested classes to consider as you go through school:

In high school, try to take at least BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, PHYSICS and MATH.
Take as much as you can, because all of these disciplines are helpful for
whatever career you might pursue in the sciences.  Most specifically:

You need to be proficient in the biological sciences.  This is the most
important, so take as much BIOLOGY coursework as you can.  When in college,
you would continue by taking related courses such as MICRO BIOLOGY,
MARINE BIOLOGY, Animal or Mammalian PHYSIOLOGY and some CHEMISTRY.

Science requires you to formulate hypotheses and attempt to
prove them, usually using mathematics and statistics and, often,
computers.  So, consider learning about:

  MATH (algebra, trigonometry, calculus, vector math, and beyond)
  COMPUTER SCIENCE (including some practice PROGRAMMING)
  STATISTICS and PROBABILITY

Lastly, to understand how marine mammals relate to their physical
world (the ocean), you will need an understanding of

  PHYSICS
  OCEANOGRAPHY

Some of these courses you may not encounter until college.  But if
you have them available to you as a high school student, take advantage
of them as much as you can.

You should be able to find interesting summer school courses by
contacting marine science institutions, such as Woods Hole (Massachusetts)
and Scripps Institute of Oceanography (California).  (There a many others
too.)

Good luck,

Phil Colla

-----------------------------------------------------
Phil Colla, pcolla@cts.com
Humpback Whales: http://www.earthwindow.com/hwrf