preservation of aquatic life done by marine biologists is by no means an easy task. this makes the role of these professionals quite important. still it cannot be denied that most people joining this field face difficulty in finding employment. the united states bureau of labor statistics reports that the projected employment increase for zoologists and wildlife biologists (including marine biologists) is only 7% from 2010 to 2020, the rate being slower than the average for all occupations. most marine biologists are employed by local, state, and federal government agencies, including the united states fish and wildlife service. so fluctuation in the budgets of these organizations is also likely to have an impact on the employment of these professionals.
why to become a marine biologist
over the past several years, population growth is putting a strain over our natural resources. this has lead to an intrusion into the areas previously reserved for wildlife. increased human activities in these areas cause climate change, water pollution, and other problems that threaten wildlife with diseases, habitat loss and invasive species. marine biologists are needed for the protection of marine life, to conduct research, and to develop and implement marine biology management and conservation efforts.
how long does it take to become a marine biologist?
the answer to this question depends upon the level of education you decide to acquire. at the very least, prospective marine biologists will need at least a bachelor's degree with a major in marine biology or a closely related field in biological sciences. this usually takes four years to complete. however, students enrolled in accelerated programs are able to complete degree requirements in less than four years. it is also possible for students to take more time, especially if they have other obligations such as work or family. for higher level positions, you will need a master's degree. this will take an additional one to two years of education. again, program duration will depend upon your own intellectual abilities and program format. if you are aiming to become an independent researcher eventually or qualify for university level teaching positions, a doctoral degree such as a phd becomes necessary.
how to prepare for this position
protection and restoration of water resources requires a thorough understanding and knowledge of the following topics:-
coral reef ecology
an introduction to aquarium science
phylogeny, form and function of invertebrate zoology
marine ecology and conservation
introduction to oceanography
behavior and neurobiology of marine animals
ecology of marine vascular plants
the focus should be on building a strong foundation in marine sciences and mathematical skills. this knowledge is indispensable for marine biologists as they have to apply scientific methods to solve problems. they should also develop working knowledge of laboratory equipment and research techniques needed in the collection, presentation and assessment of data related to physical, biological chemical, and geological phenomena of the oceans. most importantly, they should learn to apply and combine marine biological principles with present-day issues.