Lab while at Moss Landing: Subtidal/Phycology, Dr. Mike Foster
Undergraduate education: University of California, Irvine
Current job position and location: Editor, CalCOFI Reports, and CalCOFI Coordinator, NOAA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Calif. Dept. of Fish and Game, La Jolla, CA.
Some questions for John:
Q: Why did you decide to pursue marine science/come to Moss Landing?
I grew up at the beach surfing, diving, swimming, and always loved being in and around the ocean. MLML seemed to be the perfect place for graduate school.
Q: What did you do your thesis on and why do you find it interesting/important?
Primary Productivity of Subtidal Algae. I learned the techniques for intertidal productivity and applied them subtidally for the first time.
Q: What did you go on to after graduation?
I was the Diving Safety Officer and a Research Biologist at MLML for 20 + years.
Q: What do you do now (if different from above?) Please describe your job and the highlights/challenges of your work.
I’ve been diving on research projects world-wide, including many seasons in the Antarctic, the Arctic, and the Southern Ocean in Australia. I’ve written five books, including a novel loosely based on my time at MLML, called Marine Dreams. It’s an e book, and is available on Sony, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Diesel, and Scrollmotion.
Q: What’s the best thing that you took away from MLML? How did you time at MLML prepare you/influence you for what you do now?
How to work both independently and within a group. How to look at scientific questions critically. MLML has great courses and stresses independent research. It does a great job of preparing students for careers in marine science.
Q: What would you do if you could do anything differently?
Not a darn thing!
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to go into marine science and/or graduate school?
Pick a couple of programs that you really like, go visit them, and convince them to take you on. It doesn’t usually work to just apply by mail.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue a career like yours?
Go for it! If you work hard and apply yourself, it’s all out there for you to take advantage of. Good luck!