McFall serves as the Chief Scientist on both legs of research here in
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary this summer. Greg offers a lifetime
of extensive diving experience, as well as wealth of knowledge about marine
ecology. He is no stranger to the sanctuary since he functions as the
Research Coordinator for GRNMS, and has done so for the past three years.
for diving is obvious to anyone who is in his company for long. He recalls
his first diving experience in a lake, at the age of 13, when he and a
friend borrowed some diving gear and dove down to the lake's bottom to
get a view of a sunken Volkswagen. Little did Greg know at the time, but
this was a first of more than 4,000 dives he would make in his life.
or not, this diving fanatic did not grow up around the ocean, like most
other scientists working on this ship. In fact, Mr. McFall only visited
the coast once before the age of 18. Instead, he attributes his experience
in the United States Navy as sparking his interest in the oceans. Greg
spent five years as a US sailor and had the opportunity to visit 19 countries
during his service. During his service, he had the opportunity to learn
more about scuba diving when he joined the Naval Dive School. This rigorous
program was one of the hardest things that he had ever done; it tested
Mr. McFall both mentally and physically.
experience in the Navy opened many doors for him. After graduating from
the dive school, he soon joined the Navy Underwater Photo Team. Here,
he worked as one of eight underwater cinematographers along the east coast
for the research and development needs of the military. After leaving
the military, Mr. McFall tried several different career options like starting
college and diving for commercial projects, but nothing seemed as a good
fit until he saw an add for a position in the Bahamas with the Atlantic
Undersea Test and Evaluation Center. Here, he worked as a contractor with
the US Naval Warfare Testing group for a few years. Finally, his life
experience paved the way and provided the motivation to return to West
Virginia University to pursue his bachelors degree in Biology, with a
minor in Chemistry. Here, he made the Dean's List and graduated near the
top of his class. After he graduated, he went straight into the Masters
of Marine Biology program at the University of North Carolina - Wilmington.
With all of
Greg's life experience in diving and understanding of marine biology,
he was very marketable in 1992 when he graduated. He was immediately hired
as the Assistant Science Director for the National Undersea Research Center
where he held mostly administrative duties such as overseeing the peer
review process for proposal requests. Like a fish out of water, diving
was in Greg's blood and he longed for it. After two years at the NURC,
he left to work with the UNCW as a Research Associate to assist with pharmaceutical
research that enabled him to dive throughout the southeast. This job provided
one serendipitous opportunity, in particular, that changed the course
of Greg's career. During one research operation in Gray's Reef National
Marine Sanctuary, he met with Reed Bohne, the manager of GRNMS. And the
rest is history...
is one of the few to have the best of both worlds; he has the opportunity
to travel, dive, conduct research, write papers, and participate in many
different kinds of research. "Everything I've done up to this point
in my life has been practice for this job," Greg proclaims. Those
who have had the opportunity to meet Greg know that he has definitely
found his niche. In fact, his connection to the sanctuary is so strong
that his son was disappointed when to learn that this father works in
Gray's Reef, not "Greg's Reef".
who are interested in marine science, as well as diving, he offers the
* Learn science
and math well. Without a solid foundation in these disciplines, you will
have a difficult time. * If you are not ready for college, join the Navy.
There are many different ways to get experience that you can apply to
your career goals. * Be persistent and don't give up. It may take time
to find your dream job. * Volunteer or do anything to get your face and
name out there. The marine science field is still small enough that word-of-mouth
is a good way to get recognized.
SC Department of Natural Resources
is a graduate student at the College of Charleston pursuing a master’s
degree in Environmental Studies with focus in marine science. His academic
background is rooted in Biological Science and he possesses a bachelor’s
degree from Colgate University. For Leg 2 of this exploration, he joins
fellow scientist, Sarah Goldman, to assist with the collection of information
on the fisheries in Gray’s Reef.
Mr. Barkoukis became interested in the oceans at an early age. It all
started with family vacations and annual fishing trips to the Outer Banks,
North Carolina. These activities inspired him to pursue his dream of working
in the marine science field some day. Since that time Athan has sought
out several experiences to enhance his understanding of marine science.
He became a certified scuba diver, as well as worked in Antarctica where
he used biological assessments to reconstruct the history of the Larsen
Ice Shelf. Before enrolling at the College of Charleston, he worked as
an intern at Mote Marine Laboratory constructing artificial reefs in Gulf
of Mexico for a red snapper stock enhancement. Obviously, Athan brings
a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team of scientists aboard
the Nancy Foster.
When Athan is not in a classroom or on conducting research on ships, he
works with Dr. Sedberry in developing his master’s thesis. He hopes
that his graduate efforts, coupled with experience like this to Gray’s
Reef, will provide him with a holistic understanding of marine science
by blending research and policy. Athan looks forward to finding the perfect
career that will synthesize his interests in marine science and by the
look on his face this week; he is well on his way to finding his niche.
Athan gives the following advice to students who are involved in (or considering
applying to) a marine science program: ask as many questions as you can;
do not be blinded by a one-direction approach in research interests because
you may pass up many other great opportunities along the way.
REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation)
the other members of the science crew, Dave is a volunteer - a recreational
diver with an interest in marine science. He's a member in several organizations
including an Advanced Assessment Team member of Reef Environmental Education
Foundation (REEF) in Key Largo FL, a Divemaster and Scientific Diver at
the Florida Aquarium in Tampa FL, and an Animal Handler at Mote Marine
Laboratory Dolphin and Whale Hospital in Sarasota FL. His formal educational
background is business (a Bachelor's in Aeronautical Administration and
an MBA). He spent his first 20 years after college in the Air Force serving
as B-52 navigator/bombardier, headquarters staff officer, weapons test
director, and finally as weapon safety analyst. Retiring from the military
in '97, he moved to Florida and pursued his passion for diving and the
ocean. He immediately sought out volunteering options that aligned with
One organization that quickly caught his attention was REEF. As a member
of REEF, he conducts fish population surveys during his recreational diving.
REEF is a grass-roots non-profit organization made up of volunteer divers.
Divers note on an underwater slate what fish species they see during their
dive. After surfacing, the diver submits that data to REEF. REEF then
enters that information into a central database. The data allows scientists
and decision makers to monitor the fish population in the oceans around
the US. Any recreational diver can become a member of REEF after some
quick initial training. When a REEF volunteer achieves expert status,
he can join the Advance Assessment Team and be used for special research
efforts like the Nancy Foster. "I've been lucky to participate in
some cutting edge research with REEF over the past couple of years."
In addition to doing fish counts, Dave also dives at the Florida Aquarium.
He started volunteering at the Aquarium soon after arriving in Florida.
Through the years he's expanded his role there. Dave performs the dive
show in the shark exhibit and in the coral reef exhibit. He helps maintain
the exhibits and assists Aquarium's biologists in collecting animals from
the waters of Florida. During that time, he became a Scientific Diver
under the auspices of the American Association of Underwater Sciences
(which the Florida Aquarium is a member).
When not diving, he often works with veterinarians at the Dolphin and
Whale Hospital at Mote Marine Laboratory. They rescue stranded dolphins/whales
and try to rehabilitate them for return to the wild. "It's an amazing
feeling to support a dolphin calf in your arms as you nurse it back to
health." Some of the more unusual animals he's worked with are dwarf
sperm whales, pygmy sperm whales, and a rare beaked whale. It's a very
"hands-on" experience - helping to feed, medicate, and take
"One great aspect of volunteering is that there are so many opportunities
to do things that not only help but also provide a satisfying feeling
of accomplishment." When asked what was the downside, he replied,
"There's not enough time in a day to take advantage of all volunteering
opportunities I'm interested in." Sometimes he finds it hard to balance
it all, which is why he no longer volunteers at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa
taking care of injured manatees.
What's on the horizon for Dave? More diving. "You never know what
the next dive might bring and I'm eager to put on a tank and see what
nature throws my way." Some of his memorable sights underwater include
a trio of humpback whales gliding by in Hawaii, giant mantas doing summersaults
in Yap, spending a whole dive side-by-side with a whale shark in the Gulf,
eagle rays cruising by in the Keys, colorful lionfish displaying their
venomous fins in Palau, and sea lion pups tugging at his fin tips in Mexico.
What advice would he give to students? "Sometimes school work can
be tough to do when you don't see its relevance to your future. But then
you discover what intrigues you and you suddenly see how those classes
enhance your pursuits. It's really true - the more you learn in class,
the more doors open up to you down the line."
Christopher Jeffrey, Ph.D.
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
is coral reef ecologist with the NOAA/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Team (NOAA
BT), which is conducting a baseline characterization of fishes and benthic
habitats in the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Each day,
Chris is one of a two-member dive team that visits 4-5 randomly chosen
sites within the sanctuary. The dive sites are randomly chosen from four
major bottom types. At each site, Chris uses a 1-m2 quadrant to quantify
marine debris (e.g., fishing gear and trash), sponges, tunicates, and
other encrusting organisms within a 24*4 m transect along the bottom.
This information will provide a good baseline characterization of the
sanctuary and improve future monitoring and management activities.
Chris grew up in a small fishing village in the beautiful, tropical, 120-square-mile
island in the Windward Islands known as Grenada. The Windward Islands
are part of the Lesser Antilles in the southeastern Caribbean. Grenada
is situated at 12 o N, 62 o W and is the most southern of the Lesser Antilles.
After graduating high school in 1981, Chris attended a local two year
college where he studied biology, geography, and mathematics. After two
years of college, Chris taught high school biology and geography for five
years at his high school Alma Mater, before attending the University of
the Virgin Islands where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine
Biology. Chris later received a Master of Science degree in Conservation
Biology and Sustainable Development and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University
of Georgia (UGA, go Bulldogs). In 1999, he received a Knauss Marine Policy
Fellowship to conduct research on fish and benthic habitats in coral reef
ecosystems with NOAA BT. He remains with the NOAA BT today. To date, Chris
has been involved in several projects designed to characterize Caribbean
coral reef ecosystems and has done hundreds of dives in the Florida Keys,
Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Chris’s primary research interest is in understanding the spatial
and temporal aspects of the interactions between benthic habitats, reef
fish communities, and fisheries in coral reef ecosystems. His goal is
to aid in the development of policies that will manage or regulate the
use of those coral ecosystems successfully. A true understanding of how
to manage coral reef ecosystems successfully requires a multidisciplinary
approach. Chris recommends that undergraduates interested in any marine
science be grounded in the natural sciences, but they should also take
courses in political science, history, and socioeconomics. Additionally,
a strong work ethic, good physical and mental health, and fitness go a
long way in making a good marine biologist: you can’t dive to study
the ocean if you’re sick.
SC Department of Natural Resources
has spent the past year working as a research assistant for the South
Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division in
Charleston. Her duties during this cruise include assisting with fish
trap deployment/retrieval, work up of fish, and diving as needed. She
is no stranger to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. She was
a part of the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Advanced
Assessment Team in 2004, which conducted fish species, abundance, and
size surveys within the Sanctuary. She will participate in these surveys
again next month.
Sarah grew up in Columbus, Ohio and found it difficult to study marine
biology in the cornfields of the Midwest. She attended Bowling Green State
University and majored in Biology. Her junior year of college she participated
in an exchange program, which took her to the College of Charleston in
South Carolina. There she took marine-related courses and interned at
the South Carolina Aquarium in the Education Department. During college
she got her dive certification and started diving in the incredibly scenic
quarries of northwest Ohio. She would go on to become a PADI divemaster
and dive with the National Park Service and the Department of Natural
Resources. For the past 5 years she has spent a week a year working as
a diver on a sustainable live rock aquaculture farm in the Florida Keys.
After college Sarah took a job at Biscayne National Park in south Florida
where she monitored sea turtle nesting on several islands. From there,
Sarah moved to Key Largo and interned with REEF, where she discovered
the visual assessment of reef fishes. These experiences led to a research
assistant position with the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she worked
with a Ph.D. student to study the movement patterns of manta rays by tracking
them along the west coast of the Big Island.
After a year of work experience, Sarah realized she needed to take more
classes to get into a graduate program. She moved back to Ohio, completed
the necessary course work, and worked as an integrated science substitute
teacher. She was accepted to the College of Charleston Master of Environmental
Studies Program, but delayed entry to take a job with the South Carolina
Department of Natural Resources. With the SCDNR she worked for the Marine
Resources Monitoring Assessment and Prediction (MARMAP) program aboard
an offshore research vessel and collected fish to be used in age, growth,
and reproduction studies. Currently, she is a graduate student in the
MARMAP lab working on a thesis involving stomach content analysis of several
deep water reef fish species. She is also an active volunteer diver at
the South Carolina Aquarium where she dives in the 350,000-gallon Great
Advice to students wanting to study marine science: Do internships! Volunteer!
Education is important, but practical experience is priceless. Imagine
a marine-related job that you think you would enjoy and figure out what
you need to get there (Master’s Degree, Ph.D., captain’s license,
diving experience, etc.) There ARE jobs in marine science; you just have
to get as much experience as possible and make connections.
University of Georgia
Doyle is a student at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. She is
working towards her master’s degree in Marine Science. Specifically,
she is studying hydroacoustics with Dr. Daniela Di Iorio. Together, they
examine Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary acoustically with
a device called an echosounder over a 24-hour period. Daniela and Kate
hope to get a glimpse of both the diel cycle and the spatial distribution
of the pelagic inhabitants of Gray’s Reef. In other words, they
want to address how the fish at Gray’s Reef move in the water column
throughout a day and try to assess where are all of these fish are located
within the area of the reef.
Doyle grew up going to the New Jersey shore every weekend during the summers,
an experience that fostered her current love of the ocean. However, it
wasn’t until she was about 12 years old, that Kate knew marine science
was the life for her. Kate remembers watching a Discovery Channel special
on blue whales. "I was fascinated by the whole show. I remember frantically
scrambling for a pen and paper as the program ended so I could write down
the names of the scientists and colleges involved from the credits,"
high school she absorbed as much as she could about cetaceans and the
ocean. In college, at the University of Tampa (Tampa, FL) Kate majored
in Marine Science and Biology and also earned a minor in Chemistry. The
program enabled her to get some great hands-on experience in the Marine
Science field and also work in the field year-round due to the mild weather
(a huge plus). Her summers during college were spent in New Jersey working
as a naturalist on a whale watching/sightseeing boat.
began her program at UGA in the fall of 2003. She is now finishing the
necessary course work for her degree and is able to focus more of her
time on her data analysis and research. Once she earns her masters degree,
she is done with school. Ideally, she’d love to find a job that
allows her to remain very hands-on and that offers her regular opportunities
to work in the field. She sees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) as three organizations that hold a ton of such opportunities
Kate enjoys most about the marine sciences is the number of different
disciplines that are included under the marine science umbrella. "Biology,
Chemistry, Physics - it’s all applicable to the ocean. It’s
awesome", Kate exclaims. The more she learns about the sea the more
she wants to know. Just as she experienced last year, Kate has been inspired
by this cruise on the NOAA ship Nancy Foster. It is such a unique opportunity
for all of these scientists from different backgrounds, each conducting
their own research out on Gray’s Reef, to make this trip together
appreciates all of the professionals in the marine science fields that
encouraged her to continue following her passion in marine science. While
students will definitely find people who are supportive, she warns students
that there are people within the field who will discourage these budding
marine scientists from following their dreams. Kate advises, "Take
heart and do not get frustrated. If you are dedicated, you will succeed.
And if you love what you do, then that is all the reward you need."
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
is a marine biologist with the NOAA/NCCOS/CCMA/Biogeography Team. He is
the lead investigator for the team at Gray's Reef, having worked on a
variety of GRNMS projects over the last three years. This spring aboard
the Foster, the team is conducting the second of three scheduled missions
to characterize the fish community and their associated bottom types within
the sanctuary. Each day, the team splits into two diver pairs and visits
4 or 5 sites within the sanctuary. The dive sites are randomly chosen
within the four main bottom types that occur in the area; flat sand, rippled
sand, sparsely colonized live bottom, and of course the densely colonized
ledges for which the sanctuary is known. At each site, one diver identifies
and counts all the fish encountered along a 25*4 m transect and the other
quantifies the marine debris, sponges, tunicates, and other organisms
encrusting the bottom. This information will be used to obtain a good
baseline charactization of the sanctuary and improve future monitoring
and management activities.
is in marine science, he grew up in Florida, frequently exploring the
mangroves and bays of the Charlotte Harbor area around his home. This
early interest turned into a BS from the University of South Carolina
in 1994, a place he encourages anyone to attend that is interested in
obtaining a solid foundation in oceanography and marine biology. Matt
returned to Florida to gain some field experience prior to working on
a graduate degree. He spent a year and a half tracking manatees using
satellite and radio telemetry and gained an appreciation of the long field
hours and often less than comfortable conditions that biologists often
endure to collect the right kinds of data. Matt next earned a Masters
degree at North Carolina State University where he studied the reproductive
ecology of blue crabs in Chesapeake Bay. Investigating the reproduction
of a commercially important species and how a fishery can affect the populations
ability to replace itself led Matt to an interest in marine policy and
how science interacts with management of natural resources. As a result
of that interest Matt pursued the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship through
his North Carolina Sea Grant office and landed a year long placement at
NOAA's Biogeography Team in 1998. Matt’s interest in exploring the
relationships between the distribution of fish and their habitats and
how such knowledge can be applied to improve natural resource management
was a good fit with the Biogeography Team and he has been there ever since.
For those interested in pursuing a career in marine biology Matt suggests
taking lots of courses in science and math, but reminds people to also
gain exposure to a variety of other key topics such as history, philosophy,
and economics. "Go to a good undergraduate program and focus on the
foundations of biology such as evolution and ecology. Understanding the
basic principles of those subjects will carry over into everything you
do as a scientist. Don't forget about those humanities though, they ground
your science into the real world and will help you communicate your science
to the widest possible audience." Matt also recommends not rushing
through to get all your degrees. (Yes, he says you'll need more than a
bachelors to go far in this field.) He suggests taking time to do field
work and other jobs where you can learn about "real world" applications
of the science that you conduct throughout your career.
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Fangman joins the R/V Nancy Foster from the Channel Islands National Marine
Sanctuary. She is a seasoned diver, as well as marine science researcher.
Sarah is a NOAA and PADI Divemaster, NITROX certified and has conducted
over 1000 dives using SCUBA for research activities.
Sarah finds it surprising how many people say to her, “I always
wanted to be a marine biologist!” when she describe to them what
she does. The next thing they invariably say is “You are so lucky
to have such a wonderful job!” Sarah agrees; she is completely fascinated
by the ocean. While seventy percent of the earth is covered by oceans,
some people never have the opportunity to see the ocean, and of those
that do, most only see the surface. Sarah feels very fortunate to be one
of the small numbers of people that actually see the wonders far below
the waves. <>As a young girl growing up in Minnesota, Ms. Fangman
would have never imagined becoming a marine biologist. The ocean was such
a remote and mysterious place (and she got seasick while boating on Midwestern
lakes!). But she was captivated when her family escaped to the Caribbean
one winter – and she spent the entire week with a mask strapped
to her face and her head underwater. She was hooked.
to make scientific research her life’s focus and went on to receive
her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Biology from Middlebury College
in 1990. After college, Sarah began her career working in marine education
– at a Caribbean field station teaching college students about dolphins,
sea turtles and coral reefs. During this time, she was diving daily to
depths of up to two hundred feet. While she loved introducing young people
to the wonders of the marine environment, she wanted to do more to help
preserve marine life. So Sarah left the workforce and went back to school.
in the University of Washington’s Master of Marine Affairs program
and graduated in 1996. At the University, she studied marine resource
management, economics, law and other subjects that equipped her with the
skills necessary to help protect the marine life that she so cherishes.
During graduate school, she began working for NOAA as a research assistant,
and was hired after finishing at the University of Washington.
Sarah has had
the opportunity to dive to the deep depths of our oceans, as well as be
a part of some incredible research expeditions. Check out some of her
Pilot of the DeepWorker submersible (dives to depths of 2000 feet).
Piloted and was the scientific observer (it’s a one person sub!)
on over a dozen research dives using the DeepWorker
Scientific observer in the Delta submersible (dives to depths of 1200’)
Scientific observer in the Alvin submersible (dives to depths of 14,700
feet – the deepest she’s been in the ocean was aboard
the Alvin, when we dove to 9,500 feet in the Gulf of Mexico)
Researcher on a ten day saturation mission in the Aquarius habitat
(the world’s only underwater laboratory; Aquarius missions involve
living and working for ten days at depth – and spending up to
eight hours each day in the water conducting research)
Participant in over forty research cruises and was chief scientist
on more than a dozen of those cruises (using a variety of research
tools including submersibles, Remotely Operated Vehicles or ROVs,
SCUBA, sidescan sonar, nets, etc.)
In addition to conducting research, Sarah is the lead on the design
and construction of a new research vessel to be used in the Channel
Islands National Marine Sanctuary. This 62’ power catamaran
is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies to support a wide range
of research activities.
Sarah unique as a marine researcher is the breadth of her experiences.
While she is certainly not the first to do any of the things listed above,
few people have done all of these.
In her current job as Research Coordinator of NOAA’s Channel Islands
National Marine Sanctuary, she still has opportunities to help teach young
people about the marine world – and hopefully bring some of those
students into the field of marine biology! She has participated in local,
national and international educational broadcasts in an effort to reach
out to children and inspire them to care about our oceans. Next month,
Sarah will be a guest researcher on Robert Ballard’s JASON expedition
and will speak to over a million students worldwide, live from a kelp
forest in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary!
Sarah encourages students who do not excel in science and math to not
give up on their dream to work in marine studies. If you have an interest
in making the ocean your career’s focus, find ways to apply your
talents in marine studies. There are many different disciplines that marine
studies consists of, such as policy (as Ms. Fangman studied at UW), navigation,
technology, ship operations, photography, diving, education, etc. Where
there is a will, there is a way.
University of Georgia
Di Iorio's high school physics teacher first inspired her to pursue physics
as a career. In fact, she recalls wanting to become a physics teacher,
like her mentor. But life would take Daniela down a different path. She
remembers first hearing her calling to be a marine scientist when she
was working as an intern during her undergraduate program. The University
of Victoria offers a cooperative program where students alternate between
coursework and internships every four months; this is where Daniela was
first exposed to acoustics research. This research interest is a perfect
synthesis of her interests in physics and marine studies.
a wife and a mother of two sons, Daniela juggles a variety of responsibilities
at the University of Georgia. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate
core oceanography classes, as well as other graduate physical oceanography
classes during the academic year. Dr. Di Iorio enjoys teaching most of
all; it forces her to stay current with advancements in oceanography,
as well as encourage scientists (especially females) to pursue physical
oceanography. In addition to teaching, Daniela oversees three graduate
students (one, Kate Doyle is joining her on this cruise) and provides
them with advice and direction on new ways to collect and process data
for their theses research. Dr. Di Iorio's personal research interest involves
using acoustic methods to measure turbulence, heat fluctuation and flow
in ocean environments including a hydrothermal vent in the Juan de Fuca
Ridge. To fund these research projects, Daniela is constantly writing
papers and drafting proposals, which the latter is her least favorite
part of the job. Daniela loves her position at the University of Georgia
and hopes she has the opportunity to enjoy many more years as faculty
within the Marine Science department.
Dr. Di Iorio
is also involved with the public school system in her community. She serves
as a tutor to the Ocean Science Bowl team at the Oconee High School in
Athens, Georgia. She assists the teacher, as well as the students in the
teaching and learning of the physical and chemical aspects of oceanography.
She is pleased to report that this team won the regional Ocean Science
Bowl this year and went on to compete in the National Ocean Science Bowl
competition in Charleston, S.C.
who are interested in pursuing a career in physical oceanography, she
gives the following advice:
Find work experience
at the undergraduate level, if not before. You can do this by putting
your resume together and send it out to different research scientists.
Many scientists have funding for student researchers and are waiting for
students to contact them. Make the first move, don’t wait. Identifying
your career interests early will help focus your academic experience.
Project Oceanica / Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence-SE
Rogers is the Curriculum Specialist for the Center for Ocean Sciences
Education Excellence in the Southeast (COSEE-SE), funded by the National
Science Foundation (NSF). Elizabeth also works with Project Oceanica,
College of Charleston, as a marine science educator to assist in oceanographic
research cruises. In addition, she is a student at the Graduate School
at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. working towards her master’s
degree in teaching.
Science education is a path that Elizabeth enjoys. After receiving a bachelor
degree in Geology in 1997, she worked for the Washington State Parks and
Recreation Commission. There, Elizabeth had the opportunity to explore
the rich geologic history of the western United States, as well train
others in communicating science to the general public. Wanting to return
closer to family and friends, she served as Program Coordinator for the
Lowcountry Hall of Science and Mathematics at the College of Charleston.
There, Elizabeth had the opportunity to work with teachers and scientists
as she developed and managed programs designed for improving science teaching
and learning at the local level. While working full time, Ms. Rogers obtained
her master’s degree in science and math education, which seemed
like a natural fit with her professional experience.
After graduating, Elizabeth left Charleston and headed for the Washington
D.C. area. In Alexandria, VA, she served as Curriculum Developer for the
American Geological Institute and worked as part of a small writing team
in developing an NSF funded Earth System Science textbook for the middle
grades. This experience provided Elizabeth with many opportunities to
enrich her science understanding, as well as learn novel and research-based
strategies for teaching science. Being drawn back to the warm weather
and the slower pace, she moved back to Charleston, S.C. in 2003. Elizabeth
decided to return to school to pursue a teaching degree. She will finish
the MAT degree in December 2005.
While hearing her call to teach, the timing of her first shipboard experience
in 2005 to GRNMS aboard the R/V Nancy Foster could not have been more
precise. Having the opportunity to explore Gray’s Reef, along side
of scientists and other graduate students, is a learning experience that
few classrooms can offer. The excitement associated with pulling fish
traps aboard, watching video footage, or listening to the scientists recall
their experiences is something that engages the learner as well as the
veteran scientist, alike. She looks forward to transferring her experiences
here in the sanctuary in the classroom this fall.
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
Sea Grant Fellow
though he was raised in Wisconsin, Kevin Grant has always had a passion
for the sea. He had his first experience as a marine biologist at the
age of 21, as a Fisheries Observer in Alaska. This experience helped to
solidify his desire to work in the marine environment, and taught him
the attention to detail needed for data collection. Kevin received a B.S.
in Biology/Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin-Eau
Claire in 1996. He knew that he wanted to start a career in the marine
sciences, but felt a desire to broaden his horizons first. He did just
that in the Peace Corps.
As a Peace Corps volunteer teaching High School science in the Solomon
Islands, Kevin always emphasized the importance of conservation, and tried
to share his enthusiasm for the sea with his students. He succeeded in
taking eight students on a five-day field trip to the Arnavon Marine Conservation
Area (AMCA); one of the only official Marine Protected Areas in the Solomon
Islands. Mornings were spent with AMCA Conservation Officers, who gave
lessons on the many different projects that were being done in the AMCA.
They spent the afternoons going out to participate in some of the field
work. Kevin and his students saw a nest of Hawksbill turtles hatch and
the baby turtles’ mad dash to the sea. They went snorkeling on a
coral reef where dozens upon dozens of huge fish swimming lazily about.
Witnessing all of these events, first hand, helped his students to better
understand the benefits of conservation. It also piqued Kevin’s
interest in Marine Protected Areas.
After returning from the Peace Corps, Kevin got a job as a Fisheries Biologist
with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. His daily
duties centered on fisheries assessment. That means he got to go out on
a boat every day and use a variety of nets to catch fish. He and his co-workers
would then identify every fish, and take measurements such as length and
weight. The fish would then be thrown back, and Kevin would go to another
location and start again. Being able to go out on a boat every day was
a fantastic job! Many people said “You’re so lucky to have
a job like that.” Kevin agreed, but wanted to know more about how
the data he was gathering was being used to make fisheries policy. He
was also still interested in Marine Protected Areas. So after two and
a half years as a Fisheries Biologist, Kevin went back to school.
Kevin earned a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of
Washington’s School of Marine Affairs. There he took classes in
marine policy, U.S. ocean and coastal law, economics for marine affairs,
marine protected area science and management, and marine resource management
among others. Kevin also became interested in the socioeconomic aspects
of marine affairs, and realized that marine resource management is not
only about the resources in the sea, but about the people that use those
resources as well.
Kevin Grant is currently a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, and is
working for the National Marine Sanctuary Program at their headquarters
in Silver Spring, Maryland. He works on a variety of policy issues, including
fishing in sanctuaries issues, but his job still allows him to get to
sea and participate in marine biology research.
Kevin encourages everyone who is interested in the marine sciences to
pursue a career in that field. He almost changed his mind when he was
young, because he wasn’t very good in math. He stuck it out though,
and wouldn’t change anything. His career choice has been extremely
rewarding for him.