What Does a Marine Scientist Do?

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  • Written By: Jackie Myers
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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A marine scientist is responsible for studying the behavior, diseases and overall life functions of animals that live in water environments. Some marine scientists choose to specialize in areas of wildlife management and research. This involves collecting and analyzing biological data samples to find out how current environmental factors affect the land and bodies of water in which the samples were found. A person interested in pursuing a career as a marine scientist might obtain a college degree in biological sciences or oceanography.

Correctly documenting data and sharing any discoveries with the public is an expected duty of a marine scientist. This is achieved by spreading the wildlife information found by writing scientific papers and reports. Many scientists present the findings by talking with student bodies at schools and animal interest groups. Most scientists decide to work only for academic purposes.

One of the main duties of a marine scientist is to focus on research and observation. As a result, he or she uses controlled experiments to evaluate how certain factors affect wildlife. For this reason, a scientist can conduct the experiments at a laboratory or in the field. In most cases, traveling to a site for marine research requires driving a boat and dealing with rough weather. A day of observing might involve collecting samples in a swamp or spending a week on the ocean.


Marine scientists use their experience in different ways. They also find ways to plan programs that prevent and control disease outbreaks. Animal rescue missions around the world use marine scientists to provide their support to save endangered species. These experiments allow them to solve many of the issues surrounding marine life and plants being destroyed.

An experienced scientist might take on the role of a project manager. He or she takes on managerial duties to ensure that marine technicians and all staff members follow a certain plan of action. In addition to ensuring that the project runs, efficiently, the technicians can be deployed by the project manager for certain tasks. The duties might involve preparing the equipment or chemical compounds. Marine scientists collaborate with government agencies to implement new policies.

Many marine scientists who are employed at zoos and aquariums continue to perform administrative duties. Fundraising activities and public relations are responsibilities of a marine scientist who also is a manager. Other marine scientists who work at these sites continue to oversee the care of the aquarium animals and maintain clean habitats for them. The directors also distribute the animals on site and decide the best way to contain them.


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