"I think the most important thing I did when I was going through high school and college was to just get out and try as many different things associated with biology as I could find. Marine science is a big field...try lots of things and see where you get the most satisfaction."
Meet Andy Case
In this job, Andy is just like a chef, starting from scratch and thinking up the ingredients needed for new exhibits at the aquarium. Working with an exhibit developer and designer, he decides which animals to display, figures out special life support systems and then comes up with creative ways to showcase the animals.
You'll never find Andy sitting behind a desk all day. That's right! He gets to go SCUBA diving, take care of animals on exhibit, speak to the public in the aquarium and plan exhibits with people in other professions, such as plumbers, electricians, biologists, designers and aquarists.
How did you land a job here?
"Well, when I was young, I knew I wanted to do biology. I knew I wanted to work with living things, but I had no idea that this kind of career existed. When I was done with college, I just kind of stumbled into this field."
Andy graduated from Baker University with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and managed to land a job here at the aquarium right after he got out of college.
In high school, Andy worked in the theater, designing and building sets for plays. This prepared him for his work now, displaying animals at the aquarium.
"Conservation is an important part of my job. There are many really interesting, fascinating and beautiful marine animals and, selfishly, I want to conserve them because I like to go to the ocean and see them and learn more about them. Whether people want to believe it or not, we rely on the health of the oceans for our well being. I think that if we don't conserve them, we'll be in a heap of trouble."
"Planning and documentation (when the exhibit is two-dimensional on paper) can be tedious."
You never get used to seeing animals in distress, and it's very upsetting when you can't put your finger on what's wrong. But these challenges have led us to learn and develop some very effective treatments that we gladly share with other aquariums."