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Ecology/Biology Post Baccalaureate

4 posts in this topic

My goal is to earn a PhD in Marine Ecology but I don't have very much background in it or any research experience. I graduated from the Naval Academy 2 years ago with a BS in General Science (Biology/Ecology were not offered majors). Does anyone have any advice/know of any programs that could get me more research experience in biology/ecology to make me more competitive? Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

Seasonal field assistant/technician jobs are great for post-bac experience. The paid positions are easier to get if you have some relevant experience, but if you apply for a bunch and/or know someone connected to one then you can still get one. There are also volunteer/internship positions that usually expect less experience, if you can afford that.

I worked a couple in the year between undergrad and grad school. I gained a bunch of skills so that I could hit the ground running with my grad school research. 

The TAMU job board is a nice resource for finding these positions: http://wfscjobs.tamu.edu/job-board/

Edited by Pitangus

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I had a great experience as a post-bacc student in Oregon State University's Fisheries and Wildlife program. My focus was terrestrial ecology, but I had post-bacc friends that focused in marine. One interned at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the other is doing monk seal research in Hawaii, and another has a permanent gig as a wildlife biologist in Florida (kind of rare without a master's). Most students spend a term out at Hatfield Marine Science Center on the Oregon coast (located in the same town as NOAA's Marine Operations Center). OSU also has the Marine Mammal Institute (http://mmi.oregonstate.edu/).

Networking is really key - you have to put yourself out there, get to know faculty doing research, go to conferences, and get as much experience as possible. OSU tuition is really reasonable for residents if you can move here, work, and hold off on school for a year. With your background, you probably wouldn't really need to complete the F&W degree - just stay long enough to get the experience and connections and then apply for grad school. 

You can check out the post-baccalaureate section here: http://fw.oregonstate.edu/content/how-do-i-apply-undergraduate-program#pbs

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