Katherine Rose, a marine sciences major, has been interested in ocean ecology her whole life.
“My dad helped me get scuba certified at age 10, the earliest allowable age to get certified at the time,” Rose said. “I did my first open water dive off of Key Largo Florida and never really kicked the habit! I wanted to be able to identify and know about all the strange creatures that I saw as a 10-year-old.”
From her early days investigating University of Florida as a possible place to earn a degree, Rose had heard that the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) had the student financial support and greater flexibility of course choices that she was looking for.
“I’ve found that to be 100 percent true during my time at UF and have experienced more support from faculty and administration than I could have anticipated,” she said.
Rose found ways to gain more specialized research experience by reaching out to faculty in her department. She contacted Don Behringer, associate professor of marine ecology and diseases in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, about volunteering in his lab.
“I asked if I could volunteer in his lab and received positive feedback and an opportunity to help out on a number of existing projects established by him and his graduate students at the time,” Rose said.
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Rose will be staying in CALS as a graduate student.
“I will be staying on as a graduate student, having gotten a jump on my graduate work as a part of UF’s 4+1 program,” Rose said. “My plan is to graduate with my master’s in the spring of 2021 and pursue a job in Extension or environmental education. Dr. Behringer will be serving as my master’s advisor after I graduate with my bachelor’s (degree). My thesis will build upon my early field experiences in his lab.”
For future students pursuing degrees in marine sciences, Rose recommends they take advantage of the easy access to faculty and advisors who are all here to help students succeed.
“I have never met a professor in CALS that hasn’t been willing to meet with me, provide guidance or answer any questions that I may have, about my career or life in general,” Rose said. “Talk to everyone! They all have unique perspectives that are essential for you in determining what your path will be.”
Rose graduates from UF as a Four-Year Outstanding Scholar, an honor she will receive due to her outstanding academic achievements.
From oceans to coastal wetlands, marine sciences students learn about marine organisms and their behaviors and interactions with the environment. Marine sciences students study oceanography, statistics, fisheries and aquatic sciences, and invertebrate biodiversity. Students can focus elective courses on ecology, organismal biology, economics, human dimensions, and/or quantitative or professional skills. Find a CALS major that suits your interests by taking our majors quiz. You can also find information regarding our undergraduate and graduate programs on our website.