Help Wanted – Scientists That Scuba Dive!

There are very few jobs in the world that enable a person to combine their passions around the environment, marine biology, and scuba diving into a high paying and rewarding job.  But our Climate Dynamics Scientist role model, Dr. Diane Thompson, has done just that!

Diane studies the impact that climate changes have on coral reefs. As part of her job, she gets to travel to exotic places in order to conduct field research. That research may include diving off a boat in a remote ocean area to drill coral samples or hiking in hot, rainy conditions to crater lakes to gather lake sediment cores.

Diane just wrapped up a trip to the Galápagos Islands where she was gathering data on the 2015/2016 El Niño event. By collecting coral reef drillings, lake sediment samples, and other weather data, Diane and her colleagues will be able to study the frequency and intensity of El Niño events over thousands of years. Such data will help them to better understand what causes these events, how the frequency of such events may change as the climate warms, and the impact of these events on the local environment and creatures.

Lucky for all of us, Diane blogged about her recent field research travels. By checking out her blog and her Couragion role model videos, students can get a first-hand look at what it would be like to be a Climate Dynamics Scientist and answer such questions as:

  • Would they be excited to travel 3,000 miles to Ecuador and then another 900 miles to the Galapagos Islands to conduct field research?
  • Do they think it would be interesting to write grants to get research funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation?
  • How would they feel about doing higher risk tasks such as diving to drill coral samples in extremely remote ocean areas?
  • Could they tolerate completing the mountains of paperwork required to export their coral reef and lake sediment samples out of the country where they were gathered?
  • How would they like working in a scientific research lab to analyze data and write reports about their field research?
  • What does a scientific research lab even look like?
  • Would they be willing to teach themselves coding in order to complete data analysis? 

Diane's blog and Couragion role model videos provide students with deep insights about a career as a Climate Dynamics Scientist. These insights enable them to truly assess if such a career is a good fit for their own interests and values. What a powerful way to do career exploration and determine if they should apply for a job ad requesting scientists that scuba dive!

Read Diane’s blog to review photos, videos, and overviews of her latest field research trip:

For further information about Diane’s work tasks, work environment, career path and job characteristics, check out her Couragion role model videos:

Photo Credit: Dr. Diane Thompson

Laura FarrellyComment