Beverly Goodman: Introduction
My name is Dr. Beverly Goodman and I am a marine geoarchaeologist. The research that I do has a lot of variety day by day and week to week and this is one of the things that is really fun about it. When I am out of on an expedition, I might be doing a lot of diving, the actual work is collecting. I do a lot of sediment core collecting, which means going out, using scuba technology in order to collect. Basically, we put pipes into the ground in order to have a window into the sediments in the areas where we are looking.
Some research will require excavation work where we use an underwater vacuum in order to open up an area and excavate like you would excavate an archeological excavation on land. That's slightly different! There are other times when I'm teaching where I am focused on presenting lectures and preparing notes and presentations for public or students and courses. So, all the time there are changes, there's preparations for expeditions where we might have a few weeks for running, building, creating. And then you have the time where you are actually going out, collecting and doing. Once we have everything there is also the whole sequence of laboratory work where some days it could be work where the samples are being processed and analyzed on different machines. Sometimes there's a lot of work under the microscope where we are looking at what the material looks like, there's photography that happens, so it's a kind of work that everyday there's changes. Sometimes you are doing the same thing for ten hours straight and some days it changes every hour.
My career requires a lot of travel. Seems like I am almost always traveling. The regular field work that I do is in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. I've also done work in the Indian Ocean and very soon I'll be doing work in the Pacific.
The salary for a marine geoarchaeologist is basically the same as any academic position in the science and it varies a lot from country to country. I am actually based in Israel where the level of assistant professor has a salary of around $60,000 per year which is not the most lucrative career, but it is not something you would do for the money. It is something that you would have to enjoy what you are doing and appreciate all of the other benefits that you have from being able to have a career of something you really love which is the real reason you go into this kind of work.
The education requirements for this work requires a Ph.D. in order to be within a university or research institute that can support the research and allow you to make a contribution within that context. My job also requires a lot of other training. For example, you have to have some knowledge of how electricity works, you have to have some knowledge of engines work. In short you sort of need to be a "jack of all trades" to get the job done!
Someone with my background has actually had quite a few options in terms of different types of work. While I have taken my career in one direction, it is possible with my background to go into the oil industry, it is possible to go into environmental work. There are many options between teaching and research and industry.