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loftus

Marine Biology Programs

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My daughter is a junior in high school and hopes to be a veterinarian specializing in marine mammals. She is now researching marine biology undergrad programs that will facilitate this career plan. Being Florida based, her first choice right now is University of Miami, and she is also looking at University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Any marine biologists or others on WP who have recommendations in this regard? US schools of course are what she will be considering, unless of course she can get a scholarship in OZ or something which includes air tickets for the ol' man and ol' lady to go visit.

Edited by loftus

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Jeff,

 

I have been WAITING for this news from you!! Huzzah! I know we discussed it briefly last year, but I am glad to see she is still interested!

 

I know of FIU, Univ of West Fl, and Barry in Florida. I believe that Duke offers something, as well, which would be fantastic. Also UCSB out on the left coast. Unless things have really changed, her grades and extracurriculars may be more important than a big name at the top of her BS degree. It may also work to do a solid bio degree in a place where she can spend extra time doing marine bio work or volunteering in a lab - like one at UF's CVM.

 

Maybe one of the best things your daughter can do is look ahead to the DVM program that she'll be pursuing and speaking to the faculty there about where they feel the best-qualified undergrad applicants hail from. Presumably, UF would be at or near the top of her list for the DVM - that program's link is below. We can speak more in detail about contacting faculty there offline. I think I told you that I got very lucky when I applied for vet school - a far better way of going about it is heading to undergrad with an idea of the grades (!!! More than anything!!! Cannot stress enough!!), extracurriculars/summer internships, test scores, etc, that she'll need.

http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu/extension/aquatic/contact.html

 

If there is anything I can do to help you or your daughter, please feel free to give me a shout. I sold out on the aquatic animal stuff, but I am still an alum... :drink:

 

Allison

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Thanks Allison, that's helpful info. We'll be in touch.

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A Freind of mine just left Cayman to go study all this sort of thing in Hawaii.

took ages for her to decide .. but that came out as her top choice.

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Do you know which school; I think there may be more than one in Hawaii? I know of one at Hawaii Pacific in Oahu that we received some info from.

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Jeff

Check out nicholas @ duke. It's one of the top (whatever that means) programs on the East coast. The Duke Marine Lab is one very cool campus in Beaufort. Great place to shoot topside stuff too. And of course there's the outer banks etc. If anything, worth the trip out to check out the place... but I think the wintering birds are gone now.

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hey Jeff

 

When I looked at marine bio programs, UCSB (santa barbara) and University of hawaii at hilo came out as the top two choices.

 

However, I can't comment on how well they facilitate a veterinarian track.

 

good luck,

Scott

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Pre-vet and pre-med are almost identical - so she should be able to take all (or almost all) the pre-vet classes anywhere. There are a couple of pre-vet courses for most schools that can be taken the summer right befoe vet school starts - these are pretty agriculture-based, so they're best pursued where there is a vet school...and they're pretty easy compared to all the other prereq's, so no big deal for the "summer before you give up your life for 4 more years."

 

:drink: - she can pick the undergrad that fits her best, in other words - just a good idea to look forward and try to keep in contact with faculty at her top vet school choice (generally the one you have in-state status with, that's why I mentioned UF - most schools take very few kids from out-of-state). That way, summer internships and recommendations from inside are possible - and these could really help.

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My friend is studying Oceanography at http://www.hpu.edu/ Hawaii Pacific University

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If the ultimate goal is Veterinary school then I believe that the place the Bachelor's comes from is actually quite important. Being in California, I am quite biased and think that UCSD (and Scripps) as well as UCSB have really good undergrad programs that will feed quite nicely to either med or vet school. Grades are important but as everyone else has said, getting involved in someone's lab is probably the most helpful thing you can do as an udergrad. Demonstration of science skills can be the deciding factor in getting into med/vet school as can internships at places like Monterey Bay aquarium. One thing to point out is that the marine mammal vet community is really small. I would guess that there probably aren't more than a few hundred in the whole U.S. The community of marine vets is quite a bit larger and I have heard good things about Marvet a marine vet training program which I think is in Texas.

 

Good luck to your daughter with wherever she goes.

 

Bill

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Thanks everybody; as always on WP lots of great info for us to work with.

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When I was an intern a long time ago at a shark lab, and asking the staff about grad school, they said that it didn't matter one bit that I wasn't at a college that had a marine bio department or marine bio degree. What mattered, they said, was to get a very solid foundation in the core principles and major areas biology—genetics, evolution, comparative phys., biochem., ecology, etc.—and get some hands-on experience through internships or volunteering. If your daughter has a choice between a great school that doesn't have a lot to offer marine-wise and a decent school that has a marine department, going for the "better" school is probably a wise choice. She doesn't need to specialize in a specific type of bio in college, and like vetdiver said, her pre-vet requirements can be satisfied almost anywhere. Also, if she happens to change her mind about what she wants to study, being at the better school may allow her to get a better education in that other, previously-undiscovered subject, as well as others. She can always go abroad or do a School for Field Studies semester (or two) to get a more marine-oriented experience. Class size is also important to consider.

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Since I live just down the street from it, I know some people who went to or taught at UCSB. Seems to be a good program.

 

The school has a solid academic reputation and is in a beautiful location.

 

Also I know the guy who runs the marine mammal center in Santa Barbara. They love volunteers. If she wants to learn about treating marine mammals that organization is ground zero.

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Hey Jeff, sounds like you've got Florida pretty well read. I would only add to definately check out Mote Marine Lab, they have a lot of great internships, we have had several great interns come from their pogram.

 

As for California, UCSB is of course great, I know quite a few people from that program. However I would of course recommend my alma mater, UC Santa Cruz :-) UCSC has a great marine mammal program with a lot of volunteer opportunities. I work at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as an aquarist and I know we pick up most of our sea otter team from UCSC, as well as our Sea Otter Rescue and Conservation team too(SORAC). They have a robust volunteer program as well. Also, from what I hear around the aquarium, UC Davis has an awesome animal medicine program, so that may be something to look into as well. It may only be graduate level, but something to build/work towards perhaps.

 

Cheers,

Wyatt

Monterey

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Once again, thanks folks for the input. Things of course we have to consider are in-state vs out-of-state tuition, potential scholarships etc.

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If the ultimate goal is Veterinary school then I believe that the place the Bachelor's comes from is actually quite important. Being in California, I am quite biased and think that UCSD (and Scripps) as well as UCSB have really good undergrad programs that will feed quite nicely to either med or vet school. Grades are important but as everyone else has said, getting involved in someone's lab is probably the most helpful thing you can do as an udergrad. Demonstration of science skills can be the deciding factor in getting into med/vet school as can internships at places like Monterey Bay aquarium. One thing to point out is that the marine mammal vet community is really small. I would guess that there probably aren't more than a few hundred in the whole U.S. The community of marine vets is quite a bit larger and I have heard good things about Marvet a marine vet training program which I think is in Texas.

 

Good luck to your daughter with wherever she goes.

 

Bill

 

Bill's point here about the community being small are very, very true - we used to say about zoo/aquatic vets that someone either has to die or open a new zoo/aquarium for a job to become available, and that's not far from the truth!! V important to be perfect from most angles - and social aptitude really matters!! If you are a jerk or have a propensity to any oddity, everyone in the vet field knows about it or knows someone to call so they can get the dirt - and once you're into exotic animals, forget it, they all know each other and all the gossip.

 

Also, though they do not translate to real life in many cases, grades are really important, silly as it may be. Let me put it to you this way - a guy who graduated in the top 5% of my DVM class - a really intelligent and nice fellow - "screwed around" as an undergrad. He completed a PhD in the 4 years that he was applying to (and being rejected from) every DVM program in the Southeast because of his grades. His undergrad GPA was just above a 3.0 - not exactly awful! There is no other way for the schools to weed out all the applicants. This was only 10 years ago, and I believe the competition has only gotten harder. Grades matter - and lab thing is what pushes you over the edge once you have the grades to get your app looked at!!

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Jeff - I'm in the same situation with my daughter, who's also looking at Miami and College of Charleston. Go to http://web.vims.edu/bridge/?svr=www which is a website devoted to marine education resources. Lots of general info, and under the "Guiding Students" category is lot of helpful stuff, including list/descriptions of all marine biology programs.

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I was going to do the UM Marine Biology thing at UM but it was too expensive and no scholarships were available for me so I dropped it, but if it were me and I were younger.....

 

According to my personal vet, UF (Gainesville) or U of Tennessee are the TOPS for vet schools. He went to Tenn. But all I hear about here is UF, UF, UF.....

 

Nova Southeastern in Davie (south of FTL) reportedly has a very good marine program. http://www.nova.edu/ocean/marmam/marmam.html

 

Since she wants to specialize in marine mammals, if it were me, I would also pay a visit to the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon/Grassy Key, Fla and speak with their team about career paths and their recommendations. Also, the Seaquarium in Miami does rehab on marine mammals, so she might want to contact them for advice too.

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I was going to do the UM Marine Biology thing at UM but it was too expensive and no scholarships were available for me so I dropped it, but if it were me and I were younger.....

 

According to my personal vet, UF (Gainesville) or U of Tennessee are the TOPS for vet schools. He went to Tenn. But all I hear about here is UF, UF, UF.....

 

Nova Southeastern in Davie (south of FTL) reportedly has a very good marine program. http://www.nova.edu/ocean/marmam/marmam.html

 

Since she wants to specialize in marine mammals, if it were me, I would also pay a visit to the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon/Grassy Key, Fla and speak with their team about career paths and their recommendations. Also, the Seaquarium in Miami does rehab on marine mammals, so she might want to contact them for advice too.

Thanks for that. We've got some really good info from everybody here.

We've also been in touch with and toured the facilities at Harbour Branch in Vero Beach.

Yes, scholarships are a big thing. If she goes to a Florida school we should be pretty well set, at least for undergrad. We have the prepaid program here, and she will qualify for the the Florida Bright futures program with her grades, so that's a start.

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Good News! Kyra has been accepted into the University of Miami Marine Biology program, as well as their Prism Science Honors program, and most important, a scholarship to boot. I'm not sure who is more excited, her or me. She was accepted at pretty much all the schools she applied, but after much handwringing ( for me a no-brainer) she has chosen UM.

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Congrats, Kyra (and Jeff)!! That is fantastic news. :goodpost:

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Congratulations!

 

My twentysomething daughter graduated from University of Miami not too long ago. It is truly a beautiful campus.

 

I hope your daughter has a larger $$$ scholarship than my daughter had. Even with a one-half scholarship to attend the University of Miami, her father and I still had to come up with over $17 thousand. The tuition was about $35 thousand when my daughter went there. Needless to say, I didn't do any major dive trips during the years she attended college.

 

At least you won't faint from heat due to thirst at the graduation. They passed out bottled water to all the attendees at the graduation ceremony :goodpost:

 

Ellen

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Congratulations!

 

My twentysomething daughter graduated from University of Miami not too long ago. It is truly a beautiful campus.

 

I hope your daughter has a larger $$$ scholarship than my daughter had. Even with a one-half scholarship to attend the University of Miami, her father and I still had to come up with over $17 thousand. The tuition was about $35 thousand when my daughter went there. Needless to say, I didn't do any major dive trips during the years she attended college.

 

At least you won't faint from heat due to thirst at the graduation. They passed out bottled water to all the attendees at the graduation ceremony :goodpost:

 

Ellen

;)

Thanks guys. Yeah I know Miami well, it's my alma mater - graduated med school there and some residency time there. Unfortunately never had much time to party on the main campus.

Fortunately her scholarships from all sources total about 90%, and we've saved some and paid into the Florida prepaid college program, so we should be reasonably taken care of.

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Good News! Kyra has been accepted into the University of Miami Marine Biology program, as well as their Prism Science Honors program, and most important, a scholarship to boot. I'm not sure who is more excited, her or me. She was accepted at pretty much all the schools she applied, but after much handwringing ( for me a no-brainer) she has chosen UM.

 

 

 

Cool , congratulations !!!

 

Now i have a good reason for a Presidente tonight

 

Extend my congratulations to Kyra .

 

JA

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