Dr. Ari Friedlaender, an Associate Professor at Oregon State University whose research focuses on the foraging ecology of baleen whales in Antarctica, gave a seminar on Friday as part of the Oceans and Atmosphere Colloquium series at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. While at Stony Brook University, Friedlaender held a special meeting with Marine Conservation and Policy (MCP) students to discuss careers in marine conservation.
Friedlaender explored the positives and negatives of a busy career spent studying the world’s largest creatures, and also pointed out the range of ways to be involved in field research, from being the person actually collecting data out in the field to the person receiving the data and processing it in the lab back home. He also advised that academic endeavors are not the only, nor the best, way to work on conservation issues. Friedlaender highlighted the multidisciplinary nature of marine conservation and emphasized that it takes many different people, aside from scientists, to get things done. Of special importance, he noted, are the communicators, who have “the ability to take scientific information and chew it and spit it out into information legislators can use,” as they serve as a “critical conduit” between science and policy.
MCP students, who will embark on careers in marine conservation upon the completion of their degree, found the insight from Friedlaender’s unique perspective to be informative and helpful in considering career decisions and prospects.