The Importance of Technical Communication in Marine Biology

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Biology is a major that is a path for various fields of study, but often require graduate programs to obtain an adequate job. For some people, choosing a graduate program and getting accepted is tough. Although for others, they dream of their job beginning as a child and never lose sight of their goal.

Vincent Guillory (left): During a crap trap project

The Path to Marine Biology

Vincent Guillory is a Marine Biologist who majored in fishery science and then went on to get his masters degree. He initially worked in Florida for five years and has worked for the state of Louisiana since 1979 and is now retired. Vincent said he initially became intrigued in marine biology when he was a young boy by reading an article and ended up loving this field of study.

A Different Perspective on Marine Biology

People most often associate a marine biologist’s job to look much like deep-sea fishing or scuba diving, but that is not the case. Vincent says that his workdays had no set schedules, sometimes he would go out in the field and collect samples and other times would talk to commercial dealers. This was a small part of his job, Vincent says that he most often did research and worked with teams to write about their findings. Vincent states that “fisheries are a lot more than just collecting fish, it is paper work, data entry and analysis.” Vincent has worked to publish over sixty scientific articles thus far on his research and findings, which he states was not required by his job but rather for “personal satisfaction.”

Effective Communication Gets the Job Done

Vincent travels locally around the state when he does travel. He also attends annual meetings with a technical coordinating committee, which is made up of all the states at the Gulf of Mexico. Whether at the office, in the field, or at a meeting, these all require some form of technical communication. Vincent said that they worked in teams; therefore, “it was a group effort, and you never stop learning.” Communication is required constantly in order to effectively get the job done.

Different Types of Communication

Vincent is required to communicate to various types of people including new employees, people at meetings, and fishermen. He found that the primary challenge with the millennial generation was getting them to become interested in conducting research and reading, which is crucial. Vincent explains that a different approach must be taken when talking with these diverse groups. “Your language essentially has to change,” he stated.

Public Speaking as a Form of Communication

Vincent would also conduct public seminars based on articles that he published. He spoke at around twenty seminars total and said that his audience varied, consisting of “mainly scientists and other people interested in the topic would show up to as few as fifteen to twenty people and as many as a few hundred people.” Some articles would be up to a hundred pages long and entailed technical reports based on the data that was concluded.

The Significance of Research and Writing

When asked the significance of writing in his field, Vincent explained that “my research was used to justify some laws and there have been some written based on my teams findings.” As stated before, he has published several scientific articles from his research and later stated that although “not every article you publish can be used for something significant, they can provide more data to be helpful for others.”

The Love of Learning

Even after retiring, Vincent continues to work on publishing articles. He hopes that in the end, younger people can see the importance of research and writing and prosper from it. Learning can essentially be fun, so if you love your career choice, are you ever really working?

Samantha Lang, Guest Blogger

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