Science and art aren’t mutually exclusive, as Karen Hoffman, a former fisheries biologist explains. Scientists need to formulate a hypothesis, which often requires a great deal of creativity. Working in the immersive U.S. Fisheries Observer Program allowed Karen to combine science and art, while pursuing her interests in sustainability and responsible fishing.

Fisheries biologists study fish and their natural habitats. They conduct research for a variety of reasons, including to protect endangered marine species or to help control industrial pollution.

CAREER OUTLOOK

Fisheries biologists fall under the larger umbrella of zoologists and wildlife biologists, which earned a median annual income of $58,270 in 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment for zoologists and wildlife biologists is expected to grow by 5 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is slower than the average growth rate for all occupations.

AN IN-DEPTH LOOK

Karen recently talked to JMA about her career as a fisheries biologist, and shared her unique experiences from spending three summers in the U.S. Fisheries Observer Program.