Proud to be a science scout

intrepid_marine_biologists.jpgIt is with great pride that I announce my initiation into the Order Of The Science Scouts Of Exemplary Repute And Above Average Physique.

It’s kinda like the Boy Scouts, except girsl are invited too.  There are lots of badges for doing various things, all related to science, albeit some more directly than others.  Here is my first one:

dolphin_badge.jpgThe “I actually grew up AND became a marine biologist” badge.
Out of the millions of children who aspire to work with dolphins and their ilk, this recipient is actually someone who does precisely that.

Well, I don’t in fact work with dolphins. Except in the sense that they’ve been present in the general vicinity at times when I was working underwater.  I’ve seen them underwater a few times, which is way cool.  But whether I meet the criteria depends, I suppose, on how one defines “ilk” in the above criteria.  Insofar as their ilk includes all God’s creatures great and small who live in the water, I’m there.

Yes, I am a marine biologist and proud of it. Many a day, while skimming over the waves, or marveling at strange and beautiful creatures, or itching welts from sea lice . . . . well, maybe not then, but most of the time, I have been reminded of the old stand-up routine of Steve Martin — back before he made the financially lucrative transition from first-rate comedian to mild and mediocre screen actor  — in which he would insult people, do tricks with a rubber chicken, play absurd ditties on the banjo, and what not and end by saying:

“And the most amazing thing of all is: I get paid . . . for doing this.”

I feel the same way.  Hard to believe sometimes that I get paid for what I do.

About Emmett Duffy

I am a Natural Patriot and an ecologist with expertise in biodiversity and its importance to human society. My day job is Professor of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
This entry was posted in Biophilia, Education, Oceans. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Proud to be a science scout

  1. from one proud marine biologist living the dream to another, congrats on a great essay… i sometimes need to pinch myself daily that i’m actually doing what i dreamt of as a child… actually, it’s better to get my significant other to do the pinching for me…

  2. Emmett Duffy says:

    Hey Brother! Yes, we’re the few, the proud. Although I suppose there’s a world of cool ways to make a living out there, this has got to be one of the best. I’m looking forward to earning some more merit badges.

  3. Sarah Duffy says:

    Although there are other badges that definitely apply to you, I’m pretty sure this one is my favorite: The “I may look like a scientist, but I’m actually also a pirate” badge. Although your adherence to the “pillaging” requirement may be a bit shaky, you definitely like rum and have a soft spot for evolutionary biology. And who could blame you for that?

  4. Emmett Duffy says:

    Good point Sarah. I will get right on it — I already have some of the important qualifications! In fact, I have indeed spent a good bit of time pillaging the seven seas for interesting small invertebrates. Maybe that would qualify me . . .

  5. kevin Z says:

    Not only do we pillage the ocean’s invertebrate bounty, but we get them drunk in ethanol too (and sometimes ourselves as well, Arrrr!)

  6. Sounds like a fun career. I love dolphins and would love to be able to swim with them.