From Fish Farm to Ecological Science

Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.


My weekend excursions in Korea were not of baseball games or people watching along the Han river but of trips to my father's fish farm. This was where my interest in environmental science and marine biology first started. My father oversaw maintaining clean water and extracting energy from the waste at a facility and at the same time, ran a fish farm in hopes to alleviate the phenomenon of overfishing in the Asia Pacific. It turned out that the energy he extracted from the polluted water at his energy facility was partly used to run the adjacent fish farm providing the fishery with clean water and a source of energy. He raised monkfish, an endangered fish species where even finding a mature female was extremely rare and every weekend I joined him in feeding the tanks and watched the fish glide peacefully in the cold currents.

Over the years, people had left the area as it had become known the water was polluted and my father said it was his job to save the surrounding environment so that both people and the wildlife could coexist once again. When I was done feeding the fish, I scanned the shorelines for any sign of an egret, a great white bird whose feathers gleamed in the sun's rays. They once dotted the shores among the tall...

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