Jaimie Orlosk

Jaimie Orlosk, 2011

Marine Megafauna Ecology, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

My experience at BU was invaluable. I actually did not settle on a marine science major until my sophomore year. I initially applied for biomedical engineering, but switched to CAS almost immediately upon my arrival. Then I was on an environmental science track until I realized my interests were specifically in the marine sciences and BU had one of the top marine programs in the country. Most other marine majors  applied to BU solely because of the Marine Program, but it was a very happy accident for me.

I did the Marine Semester twice and both times, it was the most incredible academic experience I could hope for. What the BU Marine Program offers students is a chance to think for themselves, make their own mistakes, more importantly fix their own mistakes, and repeat.

In school, I was interested in a lot of marine geology and intended to go straight into grad school to work on hydrothermal vents. However, I had volunteered in the penguin department of the New England Aquarium and loved every minute of it. I wanted to continue with animal husbandry work and potentially work my way into marine animal rehabilitation and release.

Ultimately, I chose to seek out a job in the marine rehabilitation field. I finished an internship at the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center (MARC) in Biddeford, Maine. I was actively involved in necropsies, fish preparation and feeding, water quality testing, cleaning and maintenance of the facility, animal physical exams and procedures, extensive animal restraint, and record keeping. I also worked on a policies project for NOAA, which should be helpful for marine rehab centers nationwide.

Now, I am working full-time at an animal hospital in Salisbury, Massachusetts and volunteering once a week at the rehab center in Maine. Through my internship and talking with the staff at MARC, I learned that animal clinics are a great way to learn the skills necessary to work at a marine animal rehab facility.