What is a marine biologist? A marine biologist is a scientist that studies marine life, the living organisms of the sea. The data that is collected by a marine biologist is later analyzed in a lab and/or office to gain a better understanding of what little we know of ocean life. 70 percent of the world is covered by the different oceans and only about 5 percent of it has been explored and studied.
What does a marine biologist do?
A marine biologist can study a wide range of different aquatic life, everything from the smallest of microscopic organisms to the largest sea animals and everything in between. Most marine biologists specialize in a specific species or a specific environment.
What are the steps to take in how to become a marine biologist.
It’s important that someone interested in becoming a marine biologist have an interest in ocean life and a drive for discovery. Most of a marine biologist’s time is spent in and around or near the ocean and it’s never too early to start experiencing all of its wonders. Once marine biology becomes an interest, get your hands dirty and explore. Start finding different activities, programs, and volunteering opportunities to get involved with. Not only will it add to the experience needed but also adds volume to a resume. This is another step, that is never too early to get started on. Keep in mind, that it takes quite a bit of schooling to become a fully accredited scientist in marine biology and it’s important to find a school/ program right for you. Also focusing on a specific area or species that is of interest is something to take into consideration. Get comfortable with traveling! As most marine biologists spend a lot of time away from home and at sea.
Education requirements to become a marine biologist.
In order to become a marine biologist, you need to complete at least a bachelor’s degrees but most employers require master’s degree. If you have long-term goals in becoming a professor and someday teaching marine biology you are required to obtain a Ph.D. It’s important to realize that in order to obtain these degrees you must be interested in becoming well versed in other areas of study such as geology, ecology, chemistry, biology and many more. There are some schools that offer a joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program, which makes it quicker for you to “get your feet wet”.
A brief job description of a marine biologist.
A marine biologist is responsible for collecting and analyzing samples and data. Most commonly using geographic information systems (GIS) to do so. Marine biologists also design different experiments, that allow them to collect detailed reports and enter into different databases and computer programs. From these research findings and reports, they are able to create new theories, publications, and spread public awareness along with much more. It’s extremely important that marine biologist’s keep up to date on these findings due to the ever-changing climate and new discoveries being made daily that could potentially impact what they have already found. Another side to the job of a marine biologist is more “behind the scenes”. Where they have to manage already established budgets, find new sources of funding, and complete proposals for grants. As well as they have to learn new technologies, keep up with training and collaborate with colleagues.
With all of that, surely most people are now thinking “how much does a marine biologist make?”. Well, typically a marine biologist’s annual salary is anywhere from $38,000 to $125,000.