Marine Biologist Career Requirements
Many a marine biologist was first attracted to the profession out of the fantasy of swimming and training dolphins. Few actually get the chance. But the career options for marine biologists provide professional opportunities that are diverse, stimulating, and rewarding. Some marine biologists work actively with fish and sea plants. Some become environmental scientists, working for private corporations or government research laboratories. Others take positions with zoos and aquariums.
Marine biologists find careers as marine mammal specialists, naturalists, museum or aquarium administrators, educators, conservationists, and fisheries experts. The basic, minimum educational requirement for entering any of these sub-fields includes completion of a Bachelor's of Science degree with a focus on marine biology. Entry level jobs can include gathering samples of fish, plant, and sea mammal life, handling shipboard data input and logging duties, or assisting scientists.
Pursuing Marine Biology Training
To work as a fully fledged scientist, candidates must complete post-graduate work in oceanography, marine biology, or conservation. Following master's-level work, many biologists pursue a PhD in Marine Biology, closely linked with post-doctoral fellowships that provide direct research experience.
Marine science coursework can include studies in field investigation practices, microbiology, botany, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, mammalogy, aquatic organisms, plant and animal behavior, marine geology, and chemistry. Candidates should have solid, fundamental research skills, an inquisitive nature, and dedication to hours of intensive study.
Depending on their college or university, most students are often exposed to direct sea and laboratory research, taking field trips to study life in the sea, reef, and ocean floor, mapping and cataloguing animal habitats and ecological systems.
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