Subject: Re: I need help w/ a School Project!

Greg Early (gearly@neaq.org)
Tue, 09 Nov 1999 10:22:39 -0500

At 05:25 PM 11/06/99 -0500, you wrote: 

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Hello, My name is Amanda Smith, and I am doing a Science Report. I was 
wondering if you would mind answering several questions I had about your 
profession. If not would you please notify me so I may find another
contact  person.  face="Times New Roman" size=2> 

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Hello Amamda, you have a long list here, so the answers might be a bit
short...

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1. What exactly do you do on a typical day at work?</fontfamily>  size=2> 

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I am not sure there is a "typical"day (I suspect this is one of the good
things about doing what I do).  But there are three general types.  Some
days I focus on classes I teach or lectures that I am going to give. 
This means, usually, a lot of time spent at the computer writing or
working on class materials).  Some days I will spend time searching for
or writing applications for grants to fund projects I want to work on. 
Again, more time at the computer or on the phone.  Some days I will be
doing field work which generally means either going to a stranding site
and examining an animal (and collecting samples and data), or working in
our lab, doing much the same thing.  Because strandings are
unpredictable, these things can happen at any time (and usually seem to
happen just when I have one of the other types of day planned).

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2. What do you enjoy most about your work? Least?  size=2> 

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The best part is the science, the worst part is the administrative
paperwork that goes with it.

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3. What kind of education and experience do you need in order to obtain
this  job?<fontfamily><param>Times</param> </fontfamily> face="Times New
Roman" size=2> 

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To do the science part, an undergraduate degree in biology (or one of the
other sciences) is a must, a graduate degree in a specialized field is
also very important, as well as several years of experience in the field
of your choice.

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4. Did any of your school subjects help you prepare for your job? What
kinds  of areas of study would be beneficial to a young person looking to
pursue a  future in your field?<fontfamily><param>Times</param> 

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I have a general biology background.  This is helpful because it gives
you a little education in a lot of things.  The disadvantage (and the
reason why a higher degree is also useful) is that to do specialized
science, you need specialized training.  Much of my background has come
from working with animals here at the Aquarium.  This training comes from
working at an institution that does the kind of work you want to do.

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5. Is the employment rate sufficiant in your field? Do you expect and 
increase, decrease ,or stable supply of workers?  size=2> 

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Working with marine mammals is a very popular field, so there are always
more people interested in doing the work than there are paying jobs
available.  The good news, though, is that there are many volunteer
positions available that can give a person an idea of the kind of work
that is out there.

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6. What oppertunities exist in you field for advancement?</fontfamily> 
size=2> 


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Depends on what you mean.  Working as a scientist is different than
working for a company.  Advancing, in this case is being able to continue
and advance your particular field of study.  

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7.What inconvieniences exist in your carrer?  size=2> 

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???

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8. Do you work independently or in a group?  size=2> 

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Both, to some extent.  I work within a department of researchers.  Some
of my projects I work alone, some projects are collaborations with
others.

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9. Is there any point in which you get to work directly with animals? If
so  which types?<fontfamily><param>Times</param> </fontfamily>
face="Times New Roman" size=2> 

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Over the years, I have worked directly with about everything from
invertebrates to whales, the list is pretty long.

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10. Do you work with any machines or special equipment?  size=2> 

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Right now most of my work is with things like transmitters, sensors,
computers etc.  Over the years I have worked with a whole lot of things
(because for many years I was manager of a biology laboratory).

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11. What kind of pressure or deadlines occur in your field? 

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Two basic kinds.  The deadlines that have to do with writing grant
applications, filing reports etc etc etc.  The other kind id that when
you worlk with live animals, the animals (and in my case strandings of
animals) have a lot to do with setting schedules for you.

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12. How long was the training program needed to aquire your job? 

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I am still training to do some of the things I do and I have been working
at it for over twenty years.

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13. Is your work in any way physically demending? How so? 

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There is a fairly high "grunt" factor in what I do because I work on big
things.  Although when possible I try to have the right equipment to do
most of the "grunting" for me, there are times (usually in the field)
when the equipment is not available so...


Also, I work along the northeast coast.  During some times of the year
some of these places can be pretty nasty to work in.

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14. Why did you chose this job? What did you dream of becoming when you
were  young? 

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The real reason I chose to work at the Aquarium was to get a part it me
job for about six months.  That was about twenty or so years ago. 
Growing up I wanted to work underwater (as a diver), I was interested in
whales, but do not like working on boats, if I can avoid it (I get
seasick).  Somehow, working on marine mammals that end up on the beach
makes sense, but it was not what I started out to do.

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15. If you could go back would you choose this carrer or would you choose
an  entirely different one?

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Well, there was always that garage band that never got out of the garage,
but all things considered this is probably just as much fun.

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It would be greatly appriciated if you would respond as soon as possible.
 Thank you! Amanda 

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One more tip.  There is a lot of good information about careers in marine
science on the web.  One place to look is...

http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~smm/strat.htm


Also, pick a web search utility that you like and try searching for web
pages on "Want to be a marine scientist" and see what you get.


good luck


ge





Greg Early

Edgerton Research Laboratory				

New England Aquarium

Central Wharf

Boston, Mass 02110

617-973-5246 (phone)

617-723-6207 (FAX)		

gearly@neaq.org