While suburban Pennsylvania doesn't seem like an obvious starting point for a Marine Technician, Nick Mathews, an alumni of Kutztown University, now spends much of his time at sea aboard the R/V Atlantic Explorer. He got his sea legs at CBFS back in 2012-2013, where he took summer courses and participated in research projects with Dr. Oakley, professor of Marine Geology at KU, as he earned his Bachelor's in Oceanography. In addition to programs at the Field Station, as an undergraduate Nick embarked on a six-week voyage near the Mariana Trench aboard the R/V Thomas G Thompson. Since then his passion has laid at sea and he recently accepted a job as a Marine Technician at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
We caught up with Nick earlier this month to learn about his road to success. Here are some clips from the interview:
While at CBFS, I took classes with Dr. Cynthia Venn, Dr. Ajoy Kumar, and Dr. Sean Cornell. I did CBFS-based research projects with Dr. Sean Cornell and Dr. Adrienne Oakley. My very active and profoundly supportive adviser was Dr. Adrienne Oakley.
What skills or lessons did you learn during your time at CBFS that may have influenced the direction of your career?
My experience at the CBFS served as a comprehensive and in-depth introduction to the world of oceanography and field work in general. As a professional, I realize that the ability to have ample exposure to top-notch research vessels, facilities and faculty gave me a considerable advantage when starting out my career in this field. The technical and scientific knowledge that I learned at the field station is something that I use every day! Unequivocally, the field station offered me an invaluable educational experience and crystallized my love for oceanography.
Is there a moment that sticks out to you as most memorable from your time at CBFS?
I have so many great memories from CBFS. They range from playing in marsh mud and vibracoring in the Wallops jungle to beach picnics hosted by my professors and their families. Although, a moment that sticks out to me is when my class went door to door surveying and discussing opinions on beach management policies with local business owners. It felt so rewarding to take what we learned in our course and apply it to a current affair.