How To Become A Marine Biologist

Marine Biologists
Marine biologists study aquatic organisms, their habitat, and fundamental life processes. They also devise methods to provide a better habitat and conserve marine species. Marine biology presents a tough competition for those who wish to pursue it as a career. However, most marine fans take up the challenge and enthusiastically work to become marine biologists.

How To Become A Marine Biologist?
For entry level positions, marine biologists require an undergraduate degree in biology. They usually pursue advanced education in the field by enrolling in a Master of Science or a doctorate degree program. Advanced degrees facilitate marine biologists in research and development, and open up various career opportunities in the field of marine biology.

When selecting an undergraduate degree, you should carefully review the curriculum to find out if it covers the research on species of your interest. Most undergraduate courses for marine biology also cover courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, communications, and computer technology. Online education options are becoming more available for students who would like to earn a degree in marine biology. Many accredited online schools offer biology degrees and some may offer oceanography degrees.

In order to get hands on training in the field of marine biology, students apply for internships. These internships are offered both at the graduate as well as the undergraduate level.  Since marine biology is a competitive field, getting an internship may not be easy. Students normally have to follow an application process and go through several interviews in order to acquire the internship.

Knowledge And Skills
The following are areas where a student should have knowledge and skills because they are considered essential in the field of marine biology:

  • Marine Biology
  • Physics, Mathematics, and Statistics
  • Computer Systems
  • Oceanography
  • Technical Writing
  • Submersibles
  • Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills

What Do Marine Biologists Do?
The following are some major tasks performed by marine biologists:

  • Study animals in their natural habitats, and analyze the effect of environment and industry on animals.
  • Present findings and recommendations to take measures in favor of marine species.
  • Estimate and record plant and wildlife species.
  • Divide animals into different classes according to their characteristics.
  • Participate in the planning for wildlife populations and consult with stakeholders to come up with options that support marine life.
  • Create awareness about marine life by writing reports, journal articles, and by making presentations for schools, clubs, and interest groups.
  • Organize and conduct experimental studies on marine animals.
  • Participate in the care of aquatic animals in aquariums by suggesting best methods to contain them and maintain their habitat.
  • Oversee preventive programs to stop outbreak of diseases in marine animals.

Where Do Marine Biologists Work?
Graduates having a degree in marine biology work at a number of government, private, and non-profit organizations. Since they need to research on molecular biology and study biochemical processes, they spend a lot of time with research equipment in labs. They may also work on boats and submarines at sea to conduct research on salt water species.

Career Options
Marine biologists may choose to work in the following capacities:

  • Marine Scientist
  • Conservation Biologist
  • Marine Mammal Trainer
  • Oceanographer
  • Marine Ecologist


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