SEAS Cruise 2007 : People
Eric Simms - Ridge 2000 Education Outreach Coordinator
- What do you do? Where do you work?
- I am an education and outreach specialist for the Ridge 2000 program, at Scripps Instituion of Oceanography. My job is to translate ocean science research so that it is interesting and useful to a number of audiences, including teachers, students, families, and people who decide how our precious ocean resources are used and protected.
- What is your role on this cruise?
- On this cruise I will be interacting with the scientists on the ship to collect information about the research that is happening, and about what life is like on a research cruise. I'll send reports, photos and video back to shore for students and teachers who are studying the fascinating life and conditions found at hydrothermal vents in the deep sea.
- What is your education/training?
- I majored in Biology, and minored in Philosophy and Asian Studies, at Fairfield University in Connecticut. After college I started graduate school at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and also worked as an education and outreach specialist for seven years. I received my Master's degree from Rutgers in the Ecology and Evolution Program - I studied how plankton are affected by physical conditions in the coastal ocean. In the spring of 2006, I moved to Scripps in San Diego, CA , and am excited to continue to work with both scientists and educators as part of the Ridge 2000 program.
- What inspired you to choose your career & who were your role models?
- My dad shared his love for the natural world with me at an early age. He took me to the beaches and marshes of New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts and inspired me to study science and the natural world. I originally planned to go to medical school, but instead decided to study marine science after college and have no regrets! When I got to graduate school I decided that I was interested in sharing the excitement of scientific research with as many people as possible, and was lucky enough to learn how to do that well from a great science educator and friend - Janice McDonnell at Rutgers University.
- Please describe your family:
- I grew up in central New Jersey with two great partents, a brother, two sisters, and a dog named Whiskey. I now enjoy being an uncle to seven nieces and nephews.
- What are some of your favorite things about life at sea?
- I enjoy the excitement of being part of exploring one of the last frontiers on our planet - the ocean. I like the smell of the salt water, the sunsets, the flying fish, the amazing number of stars on clear nights, being rocked to sleep by the waves, and working closely with great people.
- What do you do in your free time?
- I love to travel and explore new places - especially places that I can spend time outdoors and in, on, or near water. I enjoy cooking (and eating), reading, fishing, kayaking, photography, and most recently learning to scuba dive and surf.
- Any Fun Facts about you?
- I've been to the southernmost city in the world (Ushuaia, Argentina), met Jane Goodall, have 32 first cousins, and can speak 3 languages - guess which one isn't true....