Harrison Albert

Harrison Albert
Harrison Albert
Track: Marine Mammal Science (MMS)
Graduated: 2018
What is your current job and main responsibilities?

Currently, I am an Adjunct Professor for two colleges in South Florida, concurrently teaching Marine Biology, Oceanography, and scientific SCUBA diving at the College of the Florida Keys (CFK) in Key West and Broward College (BC) in Fort Lauderdale. At Broward College, I also teach Environmental Science. In addition to my academic teaching responsibilities, I also serve as the Marine Conservation Specialist and a PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor at Amoray Dive Center LLC in Key Largo. At Amoray, I teach recreational open water SCUBA courses as well as specialized marine conservation courses helping create ocean awareness and environmental stewardship. Lastly, I am also still very involved with the University of Miami M.P.S. Program, guest lecturing in several Marine Mammal Science courses for my former professors and sitting on several M.P.S. student committees in the Marine Conservation and Marine Mammal Science tracks.

Tell us about your MPS internship

For my M.P.S. internship, I evaluated the impact and conservation initiatives of education, scientific research, and outreach programs of marine mammal parks and aquariums, specifically at a local 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in Key Largo called Island Dolphin Care, Inc. After graduation, my internship turned into a full-time employment opportunity where I was the Senior Marine Biologist and Assistant Executive Director for the facility, helping oversee all the daily and annual operations of the organization. Island Dolphin Care, Inc. specializes in providing dolphin assisted therapy programs to individuals with special needs and also education, research, and outreach.

What were your favorite classes at RSMAS and why?

My favorite classes at RSMAS were the Marine Mammal Research Techniques course (MBE632) and the Marine Mammal Applied Behavior Analysis course (MBE607). These classes (like most at RSMAS) are hands-on, field-based experiential learning courses where the majority of the learning and instruction takes place in real-time out in the field. While at RSMAS, I was also a graduate teaching assistant (T.A.) for MBE607 which allowed me to gain my higher education teaching experience prior to graduation.

What are your favorite RSMAS memories?

My favorite RSMAS memories include being able to spend time with my classmates on program field trips, studying in the library, or relaxing together on the RSMAS beach. The Marine Mammal Science track is extremely competitive (typically only 8 students are admitted to the program each year), so the small class sizes allow you to get to know your classmates very well and form a small tight-knit "pod" or family. Having these close relationships with your classmates is critical to enjoying the most of your time while at RSMAS and also working together to be successful in your courses.

What piece of advice would you give to current or incoming MPS students?

My advice to current or incoming MPS students would be to enjoy your time in the M.P.S. program and to take advantage of as many opportunities and courses as you can. The M.P.S. program is filled with extremely knowledgeable and respected experts and mentors in their respective fields, so don't be afraid to reach out to one of them if you are interested in getting involved in their work or their research. Networking and meeting as many people as you can is so critical to your future employment in the field, so don't be shy or afraid to put yourself out there.