The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

The student news site of Northwest High School in Jackson, Michigan

The Moxie Mountie

Tools of The Trade – Marine Biology

 The wonders of the sea are largely overlooked. Although basic Biology is taught in most high schools, the specifics of Marine Biology is something that more students want to learn and pursue.

   Marine Biology, the study of aquatic organisms and their environments, is more extensive than what the names of a few fish are, and where the biggest reef in the world is. My research has boiled Marine Biology down into a few basic pillars, although the extent of it is extremely wide. They are environment, life, climate, and exploration.

   Researching the environment of oceans and seas provokes questions, but the kind of questions that one would want to answer. The ocean’s ecosystem is just as, if not more advanced than the land of Earth. There are coral reefs, open oceans, weedy marshes, flowing rivers, arctic scapes, and much, much more. From the widely known Sunlight Zone at the very top of the surface, to the pitch-black Hadal Zone trenches carved deep in the ocean floor, every environment is completely different.

   When it comes to life within the water, it can break people’s minds with just how creative Mother Nature can get. Beyond fish and sharks, and octopi and sea cucumbers, how, where, and for how long sea creatures live is an exploration that will take years to partly understand. If you wanted to know how a jellyfish can survive without a heart or a brain, or if it puzzles you how sea anemone eat their food, then the study of Marine Biology will answer those questions for you.

   From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), you might want to know what goes on over 12,000 feet beneath the surface, and lie awake at night wondering “How can something catch food without being able to see it?” Marine Biology can answer questions that you’ve never even asked.

   Then comes climate, which lacks interest, but is extremely important. People give enormous credit to trees and plants that live on the land for creating air for it, but an astonishing 70 percent of the world’s air is created by microscopic plankton in the sea, a statistic from Divescotty. Also, due to global warming, a large portion of the world’s coral reefs – home to about 25 percent of the ocean’s life, which equates to over 4,000 species of animals, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency – are dying, which means the death and probable extinction of marine life, which, let us not be dissuaded, is vital to humanity’s survival.

   Taking action by understanding the situation is a step closer to ensuring the oceans’ prosperity.

   Exploration is the last part, something that will provoke just about any adventurer’s interest. Mankind has explored more of the moon than the ocean, and the curiosity of what lies beneath over 1.335 billion cubic kilometers of saltwater, a statistic found by NOAA, is bound to convince somebody to go and take a look.

   Scuba diving, snorkeling, tank diving, submarine exploration, robotic machines built to dive deeper, all are prime examples of ocean exploration. Not only is it a thrill ride and a way to take up memory on your camera, it’s also pivotal data to learn more about what we haven’t seen yet.

   I could only barely cover what the extent of Marine Biology is, but I have given enough to encourage any avid adventurer to explore this unknown subject. Perhaps the woodwork of this explanation is sharper than the focus of any average class.

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About the Contributor
Ashton Teal, Journalist
Ashton is a Junior who enjoys gaming (especially Overwatch 2), E-Sports, and creating his own books. If you see him, maybe ask if you can read them!   "If you find a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life." -Confucius