When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

GUAM: When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
April 4, 2012, Hagatna, Guam

Doctor, lawyer……………marine biologist?

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A lot of people will say president, teacher, astronaut, football player, or actor.  Some might even say lawyer or doctor.  But how many say marine biologist?  Well, I’m not sure of the percentage, but I would venture to guess not a whole lot.  And out of those that say marine biologist as a kid, how many actually choose that as a career?  As one of those kids that said marine biologist, and actually chose that as a career, I can’t tell you how excited I was to become a part of the Guam long-term coral reef monitoring program!  

As a kid growing up in Wisconsin, I never really understood exactly what a marine biologist did because, well, I didn’t live near an ocean.  When I finally experienced coral reefs up close and personal, I was enamored and my career path was set in stone!  Choosing marine biology as an undergraduate, I was immersed in classes ranging in topic from marine mammals to chemical oceanography.  But when I started learning about coral-algal symbiosis I decided that corals were my bread and butter.  As my senior year was winding down, I decided to participate in an internship at Mote Marine Laboratory.  This took me to Sarasota, FL to study coral disease. Little did I know this would lead me to move across the world to Guam!

I arrived in Guam for graduate school and soon began working on a variety of coral projects, but my main gig was evaluating coral disease and benthic communities around Guam.  After graduating with my Master’s, I wasn’t ready to leave Guam, and thankfully, Guam still had a place for me.  In February 2012, I began my stint as a “Regional Support Specialist” – a.k.a. a monitoring assistant for the Guam long-term coral reef monitoring program!

With all the experience I have from studying the reefs of Guam, this position is the perfect opportunity to continue coral work and give back to the island.  While the program is still young, there is already a plethora of information which has been acquired.  This information will help local scientists and resource managers better understand Guam’s reef health. Collecting data about a number of important characteristics related to reef ecosystem health will allow resource managers to evaluate the effectiveness of specific management strategies and serve as an early warning system for identifying changes in reef health.  

My role in this program is to help in the monitoring of reef health, analyze data that has been collected, and to relay this information to the public.  So if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!  In the coming months, look for more information about the monitoring program and what we’re up to!  Also, if you missed it, check out Dave Burdick’s blog from a couple of weeks ago where he talks about the monitoring program. Stay tuned!

ted by

Roxanna Myers
2:32 pm

Wednesday, April 4, 2011
Location: Hagatna, Guam