Meet The Scientists
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory; Newport, Oregon
This image shows Andra Bobbitt waving from the conning tower of the DSV Alvin.
What are your responsibilities as a GIS/Research Assistant?
I'm the person that picks up the researcher's "parts", organizes
and edits the pieces then puts them into a single basket. Our basket is a Geographic
Information System (GIS) which allows the researchers to view their data in relationship
to other scientists data both recently obtained and historical. Most of the work involves
converting the data into a usable format (most original data is specific to the instrument
it was obtained from) and verifying its accuracy.
As a faculty research assistant I also prepare publications for
the public and journals, present work at conferences and consult with outside researchers
working on similar projects. I usually go to sea each year as a participant on research
expeditions. At sea I begin the data gathering and reformatting process, primarily with
bathymetric and submersible navigation data.
How did you prepare for this job?
I obtained a scientific degree at a university which fortunately
is home to the leading oceanographic institution in the nation, UCSD Scripps Institution of
Oceanography. UCSD does not offer degrees in oceanography but its association with Scripps
gave me opportunities to get involved with researchers while obtaining my general biology
degree. Having a strong foundation in a general science which included math, statistics
and computers was the key to having the flexibility to apply myself to working primarily
in the marine geology field. Gaining experience with the ever changing computer world
(software and hardware) as the technology in oceanography has also rapidly developed,
has led me to advance in this exciting field.
"The ocean holds so many secrets which we need to unlock for our
future generations and I can only hope that the world will give the innovative researchers the
resources to make these discoveries."
--- Andra Bobbitt
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