By ADEDAYO RHUDAY PERKOVICH, age 10

Melissa Carp (third from the left) teaching youth about eel and sea life monitoring at the New York Aquarium. PHOTO: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Melissa Carp (third from the left) teaching youth about eel and sea life monitoring at the New York Aquarium. PHOTO: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Have you ever heard of a marine science educator? At the New York Aquarium, where Melissa Carp works, they strive to help people learn more about aquatic life, and how they can help conserve marine animals.

Adedayo Rhuday Perkovich: Why did you decide to become a marine science educator?

Melissa Carp: I have always loved marine science, but I hadn’t decided to be an educator. I had a lot of jobs that involved marine science, but until the last 15 years, I was not an educator. I had worked at a family shelter, and although I loved some parts of it, it was very stressful. That was when I decided to become a marine science educator.

ARP: How did you pursue this career?

MC: I had gotten some training in marine science already, and they gave me a bit more at the aquarium. I love kids, and marine science.

ARP: What would you want people to know about your job?

MC: During the school year, I’m teaching school groups, and we have a variety of programs. I also spend some time preparing for summer camp. Then, in the summer we have the camps, and there are also other side programs. I do have fun learning new and interesting facts from co-workers. I also enjoy being around all of the animals.

ARP: What’s your favorite part of your job?

MC: I love working with people who I respect, and can learn from. I love sharing my knowledge of marine science with children, and spending so much time with animals. My job also makes me hopeful for the future, because after learning more about the ocean, I can see the good side of people, and how they want to help the planet.

ARP: Why is marine science important?

MC: It’s important because oceans play such a critical part in the world, and most people feel foreign to them, or don’t know that much about them. It’s important to help people learn more about the ocean so they can help to conserve it.