Ever since I was old enough to talk, I have always loved animals and have always loved learning about them. Even though I have a strong love for animals, I have always wanted to be a doctor. Until now. I recently discovered the career of a Marine Biologist. A marine Biologist is someone who studies life in the oceans and other saltwater environments. That includes all animals and all plants that thrive in these places. I have also dreamed of going to Indiana University and pursuing my medical dream there with six years of extra med school. That dream has changed too.
I am hoping to attend the University of Tampa for the four to six years I have to to achieve my goal. Throughout my school years I have managed to maintain my science grade. That is very important if you ever consider a career or a degree like this. In the future, I hope I keep my eyes set on the wonderful career ahead. Marine Biology has thought to have dated back to as early as 1200 B. C. That was when people began ocean voyages using celestial navigation. Researchers made these statements after reading sections from poems in greek mythology.
Although they began the voyages around 1200 B. C. , it wasn’t until about 300 B. C. that specific references were recorded. These were recorded by a man by the name of Aristotle, who is considered the father of marine biology. On these trips, he distinguished the two types of marine vertebrates. Oviparous are marine vertebrates that produce eggs that hatch outside the body and Viviparous are marine vertebrates that produce eggs that hatch inside the body. Around 1845, Sir charles Wyville Thomson took a three year voyage on the British ship, HMS Challenger, to all of the oceans of the world.
On this trip he collected various marine species and analyzed them. On his expedition, Thomson was able to explore deeper than previous expeditions because of all of the equipment such as laboratories and chemistry supplies. With this expedition, he discovered over 4,717 new species of marine life. Even though I have not started school to become a marine biologist, there are still things I can do at this age to get ready for the road ahead. If I lived near the ocean, I could look on shore for different types of washed up sponge, seaweed, and or crustaceans.
I could take a boat out on the water and look for different kinds of dolphins, sharks, fish, and manatees. If I lived in a land locked state or a state with a lake, I could turn over rocks near freshwater creeks and I could get books/guides to the animals that inhabit them. No matter where I am, I could go to a local aquarium or a museum with facts about pre-historic fish and sea creatures. Exploring your local home is one of the most important things you can do as a kid when looking into a career like this. As I said earlier, Marine Biology is the study of marine species that live in saltwater environments.
Although that is the general definition of Marine Biology, there are so many different branches and topics to choose from in this degree. You can also create your own specialization around something like a specific species/organism, a particular animal’s behavior(s), or a specific technique/ecosystem. For example, a marine biologist could choose either to study a specific type of clam or they could study all clams in a specific region. One type of Marine biology is Biomedical. This is a section of the field where scientists develop and test drugs which come from marine organisms.
For example, some of the common drugs used for the flu virus start out with parts of a sponge. Another Type would be Molecular Marine Biology. That is a field where researchers apply molecular approaches and techniques to identify the presence of a specific organism in water. Aquaculture is the next field. It is a type of Marine Biology that is aided by molecular and biotechnology techniques while meeting needs for consumers. Aquaculture is where we get some of our fish, shellfish, and seaweed to eat and sell. Another field is Toxicology.
Toxicology observes water quality and studies contaminants or pollutants in marine environments. The final type of Marine Biology is the study of Protists. Protists are single-celled organisms that serve as food for single-cell microscopic organisms that could affect the entire food chain if killed off. My dream of being a Marine Biologist wouldn’t be completely fulfilled if it didn’t include my dream college as well. The University of Tampa is where I see myself in about four years. The average cost of UT is $36,944. This cost includes tuition ($25,202), mandatory fees ($1,842), and room/board ($9,900).
Even though this cost might sound through the roof, there are financial aid options. Students who maintain a GPA of 3. 2 or higher throughout high school and your college years, may receive an academic scholarship of $1,000-$5,000. Their Marine Biology Degree includes research on marine organisms/systems and hands on experiences for students. It also includes substantial exposure to biological, chemical, and physical aspects of marine science. Finally, it includes labs, field trips on the weekends to remote locations for hands on studying, and international travel courses.
Being a Marine Biologist doesn’t mean everything always fits with your schedule. For example, a researcher with polar science works close to eight to ten hours a day in an office. Work in the field however, is a big difference from the office. Working in the field is different because hours tend to be ten to twelve hours long. As stated earlier, there are many unique job choices in the field of Marine Biology. So, this means that there are many different working hours for different fields. The supply of workers far exceeds the demand for Marine Biologists.
This is why most people studying to be a Marine Biologist get their Master’s degree so that they can be placed in a higher ranking, higher paying job. Good skills to have to be placed in these jobs are advanced mathematics and computer skills. This quality is also good for competition in the field. Even though I mentioned earlier that most people get their Master’s, you do not have to have your Master’s to have a career in this field. The average salary for a Marine Biologist is $40,000-$80,000 a year. Traveling is frequent with several of Marine Biologist specialties. It can be for long periods of time.
Like I said earlier, the need for marine biologists far exceeds the demand and because of this there are related job options. Working for The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is one of the related job choices. Many marine species are at the risk of extinction. These species rely on the EPA to research and study them and to help them grow in population. Aquarists are people who work in aquariums. They help to investigate how to breed species in captivity. This career also gives you the hands on experience with the animals and plant life. Zoos are also a place where you can work in the aquatics part.
Although it is part of Marine Biology, the more you specialize in something, the more likely there is for a spot to be open for you. In conclusion, I believe that Marine Biology would be a good choice for me. Working up close and personal with animals and plants would be so amazing. I could find cures for several things just by using one small bacteria or material for one species. As long as I stay focused in High School, I could make it to what I’ve been dreaming about. With all of the support that comes from my family, my friends, and my teachers; I know I will make it. There is so much waiting out there, so I just have to go and get it.