Daniel, an eighth grader from Burke county, wonders if you still plan to dock in Ft.
Pierce on November 4, or did Hurricane Wilma damage the port?
Plans are to dock at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute's port facility in Fort Pierce. These facilities were not adversely affected by Hurricane Wilma.
Bridgett, a ninth grader from South Carolina, wants to know how to become a marine biologist.
The consensus of several marine biologists on board is that while you are in high school, it is important to take as many science courses as possible. Spend time around the water—both on it and near it—and learn about your own "backyard." Become familiar with the different fauna that your area supports. Even while in high school, seek out opportunities (usually volunteer) that could get you closer to research. Internships may be available, even to someone of your age. When the time comes, choose a college that has on-going research in marine biology and get involved. In college, seek out internships or similar jobs with research faculty. Although internships are often unpaid positions, the experience you gain in experimental design and research techniques is well worth the time and effort. Finally, a precautionary word: be broadly trained. Get exposure to multiple animals, topics, research etc. If you try to specialize too early, you might lack the diversity of training that most institutions prefer.
Tatiana, a ninth grader from Wake county, wonders how big sailfish get.
In the Atlantic, sailfish (scientific name Istiophorus platypterus) can reach a length of 2.4 m (8 ft) and attain a weight of 58 kg (128 lbs). Sailfish that live in the Pacific are slightly longer than their Atlantic cousins and considerably heavier, up to 110 kg (240 lbs). The sailfish collected so far on this mission have been juveniles, topping the ruler at under 5 inches in length.