Madeline Schmidbauer '20

Major: Marine Biology

What made you choose this major?

Ever since I was little, I've loved the ocean and have always had a passion for it. Everything about it fascinated me, and I really enjoyed learning about a completely different world of unique species. Growing up, I've learned how important our ocean ecosystems are and how we must teach others to show an appreciation for them. If we are ignorant towards the ocean now, this intricate world of mystery and beauty may disappear in the future. This is why I pursue my dream of majoring in marine biology, to learn about what I love, and to teach others of its importance.

How has what you've learned prepared you for your future?

Since Carroll University is a partner school with Hawaii Pacific University, most classes that I've taken so far have been a lot of basic science courses. These courses have helped me gain a basic understanding to many diverse, yet needed topics for my future career. By taking these necessary courses, I will be able to expand on previous ideas with more involved, hands-on courses in Hawaii as a junior and senior.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

The small class sizes are beneficial to education, by creating a more involved learning environment. Although I have not worked closely with the faculty, I do know that they are passionate about helping students. All the professors that I've had so far dedicate a lot of time to ensure the success of the class.

What's a unique experience you've had relating to the coursework for your major?

In my Bio120 lab, we had the opportunity to visit Carroll University's outdoor laboratory, Greene Field Station. Here, we wore waders and hopped into the streams to collect microorganisms to classify in lab. In addition to small insects and invertebrates, our group caught a few crayfish; other groups caught small fish. This experience was unique and exciting because we were working in the field with live aquatic specimens. Not only did we look goofy and get wet, but the hands-on group work also allowed students to bond with one another and the faculty.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you're learning in the classroom?

My favorite was when Professor Roberto Brenes took all the marine biology students to Discovery World for a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium. It was super fascinating to see the work that aquarists and divers do to maintain the tanks and care for the animals. This opportunity inspired me, and now I volunteer as an aquarist assistant at Discovery World. I love it!

If you were recommending your major to a prospective student, what would you tell them?

Pursuing a dream in marine biology is tough, but rewarding. The classes for this major at Carroll are demanding; however, be persistent and it'll be worth it! Staying on track at Carroll will provide exciting opportunities in the future when transferring to Hawaii! Carroll sets you up for success, which will put you on the right track for your career with more advantages than others.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

Although my time here was short, I enjoyed the small and diverse campus community. There are always many engaging clubs and activities to meet new students. It's this reason that I've made so many great friends that I will cherish throughout my lifetime.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experience at Carroll University?

Carroll University is a close-knit campus that offers many great opportunities to students aiming for success. As for marine biology students, Carroll is a great way to start your journey somewhere small and close to home before transferring to the partner school of Hawaii Pacific University. This will allow you to finish your degree with hands-on experience in a place where the ocean is a central part of the culture, giving you a head start to your future.

Learn more about the Marine Sciences program

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