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Featured Student Friday: Dalton Goss, Master’s Student in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Each week, SFRC highlights a fantastic student or alumnus for #FeaturedStudentFriday. Today’s student is Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences master’s student Dalton Goss. Dalton is advised by Dr. Don Behringer, and holds a BS in IDS Marine Sciences.

What’s the best thing about your current position?

I am currently interning with the Florida Program for Shark Research at the UF Natural History museum. The best thing about working there is that I get exposed to some very interesting new data and techniques that come out of the lab, such as 3D printed shark “skulls”. I am also currently the graduate assistant diving coach for the UF varsity men’s and women’s diving team.


Was there any key thing that set you on the path towards SFRC?

The SFRC curriculum really drew me in because I, along with my faculty advisor, could come up with an individualized plan that allowed me the freedom to take classes that I was really interested in. I really like how the programs in the SFRC are suited for the individual.


What drives you?

I am driven by a desire for discovery and success. Growing up, I was always fascinated with the ocean, and sharks specifically. I wanted to, and still have the goal of becoming a shark scientist who discovers something new about sharks. This could be anything from a new species to something that scientists have theories about but haven’t seen yet, like how great white sharks actually mate.


What were your struggles to get where you are today?

I struggled with certain classes, like chemistry. In high school I was one of those kids that just did all the homework and never had to study. That is definitely not how you can make it through college, which was hard for me to adjust to at first. Then I found study habits that worked for me.


What advice would you give to a younger you?

Advice I would give to a younger me or to a student just starting out would be to pursue that dream that you have wanted since you were a little kid. Do not let people tell you what they think you should do for a career, or let people limit your potential. I am a firm believer in the idea that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Also, STUDY!!!


Do you have a favorite memory of your time at SFRC?

One of my favorite memories in my time at the SFRC was taking a class called Field Ecology of Aquatic Organisms (FAS4932) over the summer before my senior year. That was an amazing class where we got to travel kayak all around the state and see so many incredible things, in addition to making new friends. Highly recommend it to anyone, regardless of their major.


Are you working on anything exciting you’d like to share?

I am about to start work on my master’s project, where I will be modeling the population recovery patterns of the endangered Small-tooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, in south Florida and the gulf of Mexico.