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The University of Southampton
Discover Oceanography


Physical Oceanographer

Name: Gary Fisher

Age: 21 * X + Y…? Y could be a negative number!

When did you start at the university? 1991, I think. It was so long ago.

Best thing about your job? The variety of different things I get to do and people I get to meet

Worst thing about your job? The paperwork

Favourite nautical term? On Callista it’s “Shall I put the kettle on?” but only when said by someone other than me.

Favourite scientific instrument? Picking one is difficult! It has to be either the TS Probe or CTD. That’s not me being indecisive. They’re really just low tech and high tech versions of the same thing

What would you say is your area of expertise? I think it might be best to ask someone else, to ensure an unbiased opinion. But please ask the right person. Some people probably think I’m an idiot!

How did you get involved in Marine Science? When I left school I completed an Electronic Engineering apprenticeship with the Ministry of Defence. This focussed on Naval and Marine Electronics, which gave me the skills I needed to come to the University as an electronics engineer for what was then, the Oceanography Department. Over the years I have gradually become more involved in the boats and the science that takes place onboard.

Why do you think Discover Oceanography is a good thing? Because it allows a wide range of people to gain an understanding of what marine science is really all about and how exciting it can be. Hopefully we can bust some of the myths about scientists all wearing white coats and working in laboratories. We’re out here in the sunshine getting paid to enjoy it!

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to work in marine science? Work hard and always do the best you can. And remember not everyone in this industry is a scientist. We need boat drivers, crew, engineers and lab technicians to do what we do.

What’s your best Discover Oceanography memory? When the Discover Oceanography team received the Vice Chancellors Award for outstanding achievement. It nice when what you do is recognised as making a difference.

What’s your favourite Knot? I’m knot sure, probably the bowline.

What’s your favourite marine creature? The seahorse. We have caught a seahorse on two or three occasions whilst trawling during Discover Oceanography sessions, they are amazing creatures.

Physical Oceanographer
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