Subject: Career in Marine Mammology Questions

Kim Marshall (
Fri, 14 May 1999 12:49:11 -0400 (EDT)

Questions and Replies:

>#1  How did you become attracted to the field of marine mammology?
I was a victim of the flipper era.  When I was about 6 I saw photos of
dolphins and of course the famous show and I was hooked.  I spent the rest
of my time learning about whales and volunteering where ever I could.  I
took any and all courses related to cetaceans and oceans, including a week
long hands-on course at the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, FL.  I
find marine mammals, especially whales, are fascinating, intelligent,
gentle creatures that really don't know a lot about.

>#2  What education path did you follow to reach your current position?
My current position at the Whale Conservation Institute is Education
Director.  I am a biologist and I graduated from Regis college in 1997.  I
will continue on to complete a masters degree at some point in the future.
To work for a non-profit organization which most marine mammal related
careers are, you must be willing to work very hard, long hours doing things
like fundraising and grant writing in addition to research.  I suggest
having a scientific background with a bit of business knowledge to make the
necessary mundane work easier.

>#3  What do your current daily duties involve?
When I am working in the field with whales we get up early and spend all
daylight hours collecting data and then at night we analyse our data.
Field work take up about 1/4 of my job, mostly I am at a desk organizing
research expeditions, fundraising, writing reports, developing education
programs out of our findings, and helping to write scientific papers and
books about our findings.  You can see what we study on our website.

>#4  What salary range might a recent graduate expect with a B.S.?  A master's?
The mid range for my type of job is between $23 and $33,000 per year. Not
that much but the work is very rewarding.

>#5   Are you happy with your career?  --Would you change anything about it?
I love knowing that I am helping whales and helping to teach people about
whales but if I could make changes I would want to get paid more money so
me change would have to be convincing more people to want to fund whale
research organizations!>

I hope this is of help to you! Kim

>Hi, Kim!
>I'm a senior Biological Sciences major at Clemson University.  I am working
>on an assignment for a class & I would appreciate it if you could answer some
>questions for me.  I'm very interested in a career with marine mammals, so
>you seem to be a perfect "target" -- hope you don't mind! :)
>Kristi Simpson
>Clemson University
>Clemson, SC

Kim Marshall-Tilas
Whale Conservation Institute/Ocean Alliance
191 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
(781) 259-0423
fax: 259-0288