How to Become a Marine biologist: Landing a Tenure-Track Position
Congratulations, you survived one of the most grueling intellectual rites of passage in modern society: you have your Ph.D.! Now what? Well, I’d like to say that the world lays before you, screaming for access to your higher intellect and many talents. But the reality is now you are faced with one of the toughest…
Giants Among Us: Tribute to Gary Brusca
As an undergraduate student at Cal Poly (SLO) in the mid-1970s I was educated in the shadow of the giants before me, Gary and Richard Brusca. My advisor and zoology Professor Dave Montgomery never hesitated to mention the near-miraculous accomplishments of the mythical brothers that preceded us as undergraduate students before getting their PhDs: how…
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love College
College, the eternal rite of passage. It stands before us as the ultimate challenge of our lives. We go, we conquer, we go on to great things. Or at least that’s the story. But does college make a difference? It is just another institution, a step along the way, one of many things we “must”…
Living Mr. Holland’s Opus: My Life as a College Professor
When I reflect back on my life as a marine biologist, as a college professor, I’ve had a wonderful life. I have always loved the ocean and as a marine biologist I couldn’t have a better job. But something was missing. Something important. What is the bigger story of my life?
How to Become a Marine Biologist: Being Successful in Graduate School
So you made it! You’ve been accepted into a graduate program and are starting your career as a graduate student. Congratulations! You are among a small group of individuals that have the privilege of working beyond your baccalaureate degree. Now what? As I have discussed previously grad school is very different from your undergraduate…
How to Become a Marine Biologist: Getting into Graduate School
So you have your degree and now you’re thinking about graduate school. Why not? It’s the next logical step, right? Wrong. Although that may make sense in your head, it may not be the best path to a successful career in marine biology. Grad school is a big commitment, for you and for many others,…
Best Years of Our Life: Cal Poly 1975
In September 1975 I started college at Cal Poly and I was terrified. It was a wild time and I quickly met people, got rides to the beach with friends and girlfriends, and had one of the best years of my life.
How to Become a Marine Biologist
When I tell people I am a marine biologist a common response is “I wanted to do that when I was younger!” Among possible careers it is both high on the list of desirability but low on success rate. Why is that? In my experience many people love the ocean, and hence the marine part, but…
Following the Dream: finding that “Rudy” Moment
My parents taught me that nothing worthwhile in life comes easy; that it was important to chase your dreams, think big, and make a difference in the world. Yet the concept of achieving one’s dreams is tied up in so many metaphors these days how do you know when you have actually done it?