Sea and ocean life has fascinated humans for the longest time. With the ocean covering about 71% of the world, estimates by scientists reveal that only 5% of life in the ocean has been explored – which underscores the need for more marine biologists. The ocean is inhabited by all types of life forms including plants, planktons, fish and massive creatures such as whales just to name a few. The study of marine life, including the adjacent environments such as the wetlands and the estuaries, is known as marine biology.
Most of the study is carried out through scientific methods which include general observation, theoretical explanation of hypothesis, predictions, and experimenting where testing of the steps named above is done. Marine biology is a wide subject with many disciplines under it. Some of the disciplines include zoology, ecology, cellular biology, molecular biology, biological oceanography, physical oceanography, marine conservations, fisheries biology and marine ecology just to name a few.
Protection of marine diversity is very important due to the benefits that people get from the marine organisms and animals. The food and employment for the fishermen are the two most obvious benefits that we get from marine life but there are other benefits like moderation of the climate. We also get medicine that is extracted from different marine creatures. Marine life also ensures that the water stays clean by eliminating different kinds of toxins and wastes. However, overexploitation of certain marine species has led to depletion of their numbers.
The inhabitants of the sea and the sea itself is facing a myriad of challenges especially from pollution that is brought about by plastics, recreational boats, chemicals, commercial ships and people who use the sea for dumping all types of carcasses into the water. The studies carried out by the marine biologists on the effects of these activities to the marine life can be used to prevent or minimize their effects.
Marine biologists use different tools to do their research which have also been greatly improved by recent technological advancements. Underwater habitats are built below the water surface where the researchers stay for a long periods as they observe marine life. Plankton nets are used to round up the microorganisms for the purposes of studying them. Satellites collect data pertaining to the temperature, currents, color and mapping of specific features like coral reefs. They are also used to track tagged marine life to understand their patterns of migration.
Finding a job after graduating from a marine biology course is as easy as finding a job in a mortuary. Many marine biologists are employed by states and agencies of the federal governments. Working under government agencies ensures better job security and an opportunity for career advancement. It is also possible for marine biologists to create their own laboratories from where they can conduct research and offer consultation services. Those who are fresh from institutions of learning may find jobs in zoos, aquariums or museums.
Marine biologists spend a huge part of their time conducting research outdoors which is quite an adventurous way of spending time. Working with marine life can also be very therapeutic and satisfying.
Category: Career Info/Salary
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