Marine biologists study forms of life that live in salt water. The work is a combination of laboratory and office work and time spent in the field studying creatures in their native habitats, which sometimes means going underwater.
Marine biologists study the characteristics and behaviors of life forms in salt water and observe how they interact with their ecosystems. They also study the impact of human activity on these ecosystems.
Specific duties of marine biologists include conducting studies of wildlife in both controlled and natural settings, collecting specimens and biological samples for analysis, monitoring and managing wildlife populations and invasive plants and animals, writing and publishing academic papers and articles detailing the results of their research, giving presentations on these findings, and developing conservation strategies. Tracking the movement of tagged animals and predicting changes in habitat are usually done with special computer software designed for these purposes.
Marine biologists usually work at least full-time hours and may often be expected to work longer hours when doing field research. The ability to swim well is likely to be a requirement for the job as well as obtaining a scuba diving certification. A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement to work in the field, but many positions require a master's degree.