Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Island Earth
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Featured Scientist: Randy Kosaki - 09.03.2014

Occupation: Randy Kosaki, Technical diver and fish ecologist, NOAA Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

How I got into Marine Science: My first job in marine science was when I was five, and my parents paid me $0.25 a week to feed the fish in our five gallon aquarium. It is one of the best jobs I have ever had. For me, marine science is a hobby that has grown wildly out of control. I've always enjoyed the ocean and marine life, whether it's via studying fish, photographing fish, catching fish, eating fish, or doing research on fish. Fortunately, the pay has gotten better since I first started.

Scientific Methods: Our primary tools are keen powers of observation, aided by advanced dive technology and methods of statistical analysis. A majority of my work can be accomplished with a pencil, clipboard, underwater paper, and a transect line. Almost all of our fish data is collected in this way. The use of closed-circuit rebreathers has allowed us to characterize deep reef fish beyond the reach of regular scuba diving, and statistics provide an objective way of separating "real" findings from background, noise, sampling error, and chance occurrences.

Advice for Young Scientists: First and foremost, have a good background in a broad scientific discipline, whether it's biology, chemistry, physics, or something else. Marine science is simply the application of standard scientific methods to questions that focus on the marine environment. You need to be a good biologist before you can be a good marine biologist.

Questions for Randy? Contact him here:

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