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Current Time and Temperature at Palmer Station
Current time and temperature at Palmer Station

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Headline: The Team

Michele Cochran

Michele Cochran, Research Associate
Virginia Institute of Marine Science

When she isn’t working, Michele can be found sailing or participating in other outdoor activities. She also likes spending time with family and friends. Michele answered these questions in August, 2001.

Why are you a scientist?
Science is something I’ve always been interested in – it just seems to come naturally. I started working in a lab to pay my way through school, and I found out that I like research.

What is science?
Science is the study of all living things. It is a fascination with your living environment and its interactions.

What skills and qualities are
necessary to be a scientist?
You need to have a fascination with whatever field you are in. That’s most of it. You need mechanical skills and mathematical skills. You also need the capacity to take information in from various aspects and areas. You need to be able to draw conclusions and interpret those conclusions.

What is most enjoyable about your job?
There is always something new and different. I am always learning. The work is challenging and stimulating. I like problem-solving, and that is a big part of the job.

What frustrations do you face with your job?
There are times when the work is very routine. There are lots of routine procedures and repetitions to do in order to conduct an experiment.

When you go out to make field observations,
what do you plan to do when you aren’t working?

I’m looking forward to meeting other scientists. I’ll be sending email messages to family and friends. I also like to read. I like to read fiction written by Tom Clancy and John Jakes. I like series that develop interesting characters. I’ll look for any outdoor activities so I can stay physically fit.

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