Masters programs: need advice

Lucio Biase lb106 at columbia.edu
Tue May 13 09:58:10 EST 1997

I posted the following message in bionet.ecology and the advice I
received was really helpful:

I am a junior Environmental science major at Columbia University, and I
would really appreciate some guidance concerning graduate study, the
deans and advisors at this college of less than 3,000 direct me towards a
strictly medical professional tract, which I am not sure if it is what I
exclusively wish to pursue, I enjoy research especial chemical ecology,
toxicology, pharmacology, and parisitology. 

I sincerly feel that I might have a diverse research background (for my
age): ranging from field work with pelagic sharks, threatened terns,
endangered parrots, and hatchling predation studies of leatherback
seaturtles; lab work including of medical informatics (imaging and
software design), designing and implanting artificial joints (a pending
patent for a medical device), as well modeling of organic molecules using
STM; and independent research considering the effects of the EMF's of
power-lines on nesting songbirds and the chemical defenses of Costa Rican
Harvestmen. I am however, afraid that I might not have taken the correct
courses to pursue a graduate degree in ecophysiology/toxicology. 
Unfortunately the biological graduate programs at this school have
progressed(?) to running gels and having a mac make your match. I was
wondering if there was general resource or guide as to
what schools offer what programs in the fields I am interested in and how
to fund it. I would also like to know what classes would be strongly
recommended.  I have not taken any "fun" electives as I have truly enjoyed
the science courses I have taken.  It is only this semester that I realize
after working on my Harvestmen project, for an environmental biology for
the past three semesters, how rewarding teaching college students and
conducting your own research can be.  I know that that might sound dense
but I come from a non-degree family and attend a college in NYC where
there is a stigma that if you do not come out of school to matriculate to
law or medical school, or work on Wallstreet you might as well never have
gone to college at all. 

Any guidance, no matter how brief, would be appreciated. 
Thanks in advance for any advice,


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