When I was a sophomore in college, I changed my career focus, which up until that point had been to go into direct discovery research, believe it or not, but it was more from a medical angle than an oceanographic angle. In the summer between my sophomore and junior years in college I had the opportunity to take a course in marine ecology in St. Croix, and at that point I decide I wanted to go into marine science. It was only later, probably about ten years later, that I was lucky enough to be able to combine both my interests, marine science and pharmacology in my career, so I consider myself very lucky.
Because of the level of management and administration Im doing, and project coordination, it requires a Ph.D. However, we have people working in marine science with associate degrees all the way up to Ph.Ds, and theyre all doing laboratory work as well. So you dont have to have a Ph.D. to do some exciting laboratory work.
Probably if I had some background in concepts of teaching, I think that someone with my experience could also do a good job at teaching students, particularly in ocean sciences.
I wish that I had taken more chemistry courses and at the time I was in school, molecular biology was really just starting. So I really wish now, if I had the opportunity to go back and spend a year in school, I would take some biochemistry and molecular biology. Ive taken some short courses in that, but I really feel like I could use more background in those courses.