Well I Thought I Was A Rockstar

I am gone for little over a week and come back to find out I have one of the Worst Jobs in Science. Popular Science wishes to “salute the men and women who do what no salary can adequately award.” Salary…I am supposed to be receiving a salary?  Number 2 on PopSci’s list it Oceanographer because we get “nothing but bad news, day in and day out.”  No seafood by 2048, no coral reefs in decades, 200 deoxygenated “dead zones” and counting, a vortex of plastic the size of Texas residing in the Pacific, ocean acidification, etc.  Of course, you can go here and read more about this.  Luckily the ocean is still safe to work in…

Recently, Ron Johnstone, an Australian marine biologist, broke out in boils while studying sediment. He was poisoned by fireweed, a toxic cyanobacteria exploding across the globe in response to pollution.

Jim over at Archaea to Zeaxanthol wonders what our reaction at DSN will be?  Well in graduate school I thought this was going to be all fame, fortune, and groupies.  I guess one of the three ain’t bad…I let you guess which one it is.  Unfortunately, I have to partially agree with PopSci.  I love what I do but every year it’s more bad news.  This with often ostentatious peer-review process and a pitiful funding climate make my days jolly!

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.


5 Replies to “Well I Thought I Was A Rockstar”

  1. This Popular Science article get it all backwards. I tried working in Hollywood, where “all news is good news”.
    I just couldn’t take it. Instead, dead zones and collapsing fish stocks give me an odd kind of comfort. In those cases, we know what’s the problem. The really worst job must be in politics or fisheries, where they have to go and fix it.

  2. actually I think the worst must be one of the jobs Mike Rowe showcases on ‘Dirty Jobs’ – some of them are just downright awful.

    even after reading about the failed Sea Mount expedition, I have a hard time believing your job even comes close to “worst” (I guess I don’t really have the right to proclaim the trip a failure, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a success)

  3. I would agree with Mike facing the worst jobs. The seamount trip wasn’t failed so much as not quite what I expected. Any day at sea and ROV dive is a good day.

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