FTT Prompt Due August 31 before 11:59pm

In the opening pages of Four Fish, the author Paul Greenberg describes his transformative event that sets him on his path to understanding the state of the world’s wild fisheries….

In a short post of at least 250 words, briefly describe what that event was for Greenberg, and share with us what drives you to learn (you are in university after all, so clearly you like to learn!) Have you had a similar life changing event that has sent you on your path? What is your motivation to keep going?

Post your answer by 11:59pm on August 31 and comment on at least two posts from your peers by 11:59pm September 1.

61 thoughts on “FTT Prompt Due August 31 before 11:59pm”

  1. For Greenberg, I believe his transformative event was that specific winter when all the fish in “his” pond died for reasons he was not sure, which also set him in motion to look for new fishing grounds during his teenager years. For me, I am not sure what drives to learn. I have a hard time remembering my childhood, and I know I was a slow learner during most of Elementary. But ever since I was little, I have always had a knack for science. Particularly, I was fascinated with how living things work; what’s inside an organism and how it all makes it alive, which set me in motion to be a doctor. Now, every time someone spoke about the ocean during those formative years, it was always with this mysterious aura to it, as if it was an alien realm, incomprehensible to us, which also sparked a big interest in me. Maybe it’s not *that* mysterious, but it is undoubtedly mesmerizing.

    After a brief opportunity to practice at a university hospital, I am fairly sure I do not have the aptitudes necessary to be a doctor. However, marine biology still seemed to me like something I would love to learn about and dedicate myself into. And, after hearing tragedy after tragedy concerning the state of marine ecology in the modern world –About this or that massive oil spillage, about all the trash in the ocean, about coral reefs dying away and seemingly no one caring–, I thought that maybe, one day I could contribute my own little effort to preserve the ocean, instead of just hoping someone somewhere will just figure it out.

    In few words, there is no particular life-changing moment for me that I could describe. More like learning a series of events throughout the years that made me think “Wow, we really suck at taking care of the only planet we have, huh?”.

    1. I totally agree with your statement there was not anything that really set me on my path, and I think Definetly the planet is not doing its job of keeping our planet healthy for a long time

    2. Cesar, thank you for your thoughts! I appreciate your desire to make a positive difference in the world!!! What you said about the mysterious nature of the ocean really resonated with me. I think it is really neat that your curiousity and genuine care for nature lead you down the path of fisheries.

    3. I really like that active, optimistic approach. All the disasters are a part of what got me engaged in the field as well, especially because I grew up in a family that largely denied and belittled the idea of a changing climate. It’s only relatively recently that I became informed on the subject, so I totally empathize with the hope of being able to contribute your own little effort.

    4. Hello Cesar! I shared the same ideas about hearing the tragic things happening to the ocean and affecting marine life pretty heavily and I wanted to make a change to it. I hope I am able to solve at least one problem in life to help benefit the marine life that I admire.

  2. I believe that Greenberg’s “transformative event” was actually a combination of two different events; the winter of 1978 that resulted in the death of all of the local fish and his realization that fish markets were dominated by four different species of fish. The winter set Greenberg on a path of exploration and learning early in his life and his discovery about the fish markets reflected humanity’s relationship to the denizens of the sea. Both of these events appear essential to Greenberg’s understanding of fisheries and the sea.

    As for what drives me to learn, I have this belief concerning humans and their capacity for knowledge. So long as a person is capable of learning something new, of improving themselves, it is a failure of the highest order to remain stagnant, to persist in ignorance. I have been constantly looking for new knowledge in my life simply for the sake of knowing, even if the material I was learning “didn’t matter”. Be that taking honors classes I didn’t need or reading through history books or learning about entomology, physics, or theology, it didn’t matter. I was learning, therefore, I was improving. So long as my mind works, I intend to continue to learn whatever I can.

    I don’t recall any particular life-changing event that made me like this. To the best of my knowledge, I have always been like this. As for my motivation to keep going, part of it is my aforementioned belief about humans and learning. I don’t want to accept that what I know now is all I need to know, because that means I have stopped trying to improve. Just like everybody else, I can always improve. I am not perfect, but I can be better. The other part of my motivation is my theological beliefs. I am a religious man, which does impact how I go about life. To simply stop learning, to become content with what I am, isn’t right. There is always more in life, more that I can do for others or this world I have the gift of living in, so I am obligated to carry on and do my part. Marine biology feels like the best way for me to do that, so I intend to learn as much about it as I can.

    1. Zeph, I really related to your comment about knowing that you can always learn more or improve. That’s definitely a major motivator for me as well, and I truly do want to think that everyone can improve on their knowledge and ability to retain it. I also liked your interpretation of Greenberg’s transformative event, and you touched on something that I failed to pick up on in my response.

    2. I agree. The pursuit of knowledge is a great goal in life. I noticed you mentioned you do not have a particular life changing event that drove you to how you are today. I was wondering if that also includes fishing experience. On your quest for knowledge don’t forget to grab what experience you can where you can. Over all great post.

  3. I believe Greenburg’s transformative event was when the 1978 winter hit in his home area, where it resulted in the death of the fish in the ponds. In which led him to find new fishing grounds when he was in his teenager years.
    Honestly, I’m not really sure of what drives me to learn. All I know is that I tend to get bored pretty easy, and sometimes music doesn’t cut out. So I randomly like to be learning something new, so I guess I wanted to go to school to pursue my love of studying the suitings of marine life. I have always love seeing marine life, so I guess I chose this class because it was pertaining to the freshmen class requirements for Marine bio for bachelors.
    I have not had a life changing event happen to me that set me forth on my path. All I know three months ago, I graduated and wanted to pursue studying things associated with marine anything. My motivation is from my music and knowing that my want to have a phd for marine bio is what keeps me going in studying and pursuing that drive, even @ my lowest when I’m tired and don’t want to do anything with school. 🙂

    1. Those are key motivation factors that can also be very dangerous if they get the best of you but with strong minds, they can be life changing for the better!

    2. What a great opportunity to try new things and study new things. Life changing events can happen at any point in time in your life. Try to stay open minded and seeing the lessons to be gained everywhere. You will soon have those life changing experiences you seek.

    3. Hi Kilie. I am the same way! I love to learn something new randomly and it could be about anything. I mostly learn new things about the ocean or a new marine creature I never knew about. It entertains me and gives me more knowledge about the ocean.

  4. Greenberg’s realization was when he revisited the Eastern shore’s fish markets as an adult and realized how much the landscape of available fish had changed. After some retrospect on how he fished as a child, he realized that fishermen were doing the same things that he did: moving out to find more fishing grounds. Except the markets were more controlled by commercial fishermen who had a vested interest in catching the most desirable fish for its consumers. These fish were commonly four types: tuna, sea bass, cod, and salmon.

    I don’t think I had a similar event. My reason for finding something I wanted to pursue in life came about while I was on deployment. I hated my rate in the Navy, I was bored and uninterested and stressed, and I realized I had no postsecondary education to fall back on if I had to leave. I thought long and hard about my histories and interests as a child, and came out with vaguely ” something related to the oceans.” Our boat moved to Bremerton, WA, and I attended a career fair at the Seattle Aquarium. I talked with the booth of the University of Alaska Fairbanks about CFOS and I applied that week for admission. I ended up adoring fisheries as a practice, and I would never have found out about it had I not decided to go to this career fair.

    What keeps me going is support from my husband. He urged me to go to the career fair, and he constantly supports my weird ocean fauna-related activities. A trip to walk along the shore quickly turns into me turning over rocks for crabs, and he teases me about it. It’s so underrated having someone there in your field cheering you on.

    1. Thats severely impressive that you wanted something to fall back on , just in case, I Definetly just having a boat reminds us what’s out there in the ocean or lakes and what nature has to offer I agree

    2. Kathryn, I really related to what you said about your husband motivating you…my boyfriend has always been my number one supporter and has spent hours tidepooling with me or going over terms for marine classes I’ve taken. It is so great to have a support system and I’m hoping I can find an even bigger support system at college.

  5. The transformative event for Greenberg was when the largemouth bass died. After their mysterious death, Greenberg ventured on to search for more fish which lead to him going to sea & learning how to find fish by watching the birds & following the rocks. Another transforming thing that Greenberg went through was finding out that fishermen were using the same method as he had when “his” largemouth bass had disappeared. The fishermen went from fishing in rivers to going to sea to find more fish. Greenberg also realized that the fish in demand was different than when he was younger by going to fish markets & scoping out what fish were being hunted the most. Greenberg realizes that the four types of fishing dominating the market are salmon, sea bass, cod, & tuna.
    What drives me to learn is just the simple knowledge of knowing. Learning has always been interesting to me & being able to share with others what I learned/know brings about interesting topics & conversations. It’s also the shock/surprise that new things bring with them. I don’t think I’ve had a huge life changing moment similar to Greenberg’s, at least not one I can think of right now. My motivation definitely comes from my parents, they actually got me into scuba diving & becoming interested in the ocean & fish. My dad especially has always motivated me to go big & get things done. He’s one of the reasons why I’m getting my B.S in Marine Biology instead of going straight into underwater welding.

    1. Hey Charli, I think that is okay if you do not have a key life changing moment that leads you into pursuing an education in the field which interest you. As long as it is something you love and keeps wanting you to learn more thats all you need! Good luck with your degree and career.

    2. I also love sharing knowledge with anyone. I work at a small aquarium, and being able to talk with kids for an hour about hermit crabs or moon snails is so fun. I also have definitely stopped people walking along the shore while I’m trying to see what I can find and tell them about the creature. I once caught a blue crab that had just molted and was super squishy, and the kids I showed did not realize they molted. I love teaching and learning!

    3. I like that your motivation is family which is really important and I feel that it’s is sort of similar to Greenberg’s story his mom always got cottages near ponds or near the lake so he can have his enjoyment of fishing. She new how much it matters to him and did all she could to have that for him. family and caring for each other is what you both have .

    4. My dad is also part of the reason I became interested in marine biology because he was also a scuba diver. Funny enough, my brother is trying to become an underwater welder as well. And I totally get that motivation, being able to share various bits of knowledge with other people is always fun.

    5. My dad is a big reason why I’m pursuing Marine Biology too :] I wish you the best in getting your B.S! I have to agree that scuba diving sounds really fun.

    6. I’ve only recently began scuba diving and its only furthered my interest in marine life. I think its cool that your parents are a big motivator for you to continue to learn!

  6. The transformative event in Paul’s life starts with “his” pond losing its stock of fish when he is in his youth. This event leads him to venture into new fishing grounds and eventually to the sea. It is only later in life when he returns to his original fishing grounds that he realizes how much the market has changed through the tragedy of the commons. The experiences that have led me to where I am now, pursuing wildlife biology were not as distressful. I grew up in Kansas near a plethora of wetlands and marsh known as Cheyenne Bottoms which is one of the largest migratory bird fly-over spots in the states. This is where I would have the opportunity to view many different species of shorebirds, waterfowl, amphibians, and pretty much anything Kansas has to offer as far as wildlife goes. Whether it was my brothers and I out trying to see how many bullfrogs we could catch in a bucket, or something as simple as sitting on a tailgate late in the afternoon sunset listening to a western meadowlark sing its tune, I cannot say that there was anyone specific experience that made me this way, but I’ve had a deep appreciation for the natural world for as long as I can remember. With all that said it may come as a surprise that I have little experience with anything related to fish, which is primarily why I am taking this class. I would say the most exotic thing I’ve ever fished for is catfish, so I am more than eager to start learning about Alaska’s unique world of fisheries.

    1. I definitely feel for the experience of going outside and seeing what I could find! I can’t just take a shore walk or a forest walk, I always have to grab or inspect something. As a kid, it was mostly grasshoppers. Nowadays its mostly crabs and small fish.

      1. Hey Kathryn, similar experience here as a kid. My mom told me before that I had accidentally participated in the killing of hundreds of Rolly Pollies during my younger years. This is because on the way to and from school, I would pick them up and put them in my pockets because I loved them so much. Unfortunately, my little kid mind would forget they were there and if she forgot to check my pockets before they went into the wash they would drown… Im glad she didn’t tell me this until I was older because I would have been heart broken. Now I still stop to inspect interesting plants and creatures and fish where ever I can, I am just more conscious to not be as destructive and put/leave living creatures back in their environment.

  7. Greenberg‘s first understanding started when the fish from his pond he so deeply cared about where no longer accessible, though he did search after the snow melted relentlessly hoping to find what was lost. Only the hit of realization , thanks to his neighbor’s comments he ventured off to find a new hunting ground. Greenberg didn’t give up so easily he explored and learned new ways along his trails. This was inspiring we all have something we enjoy given that one day it could no longer be ours so might give up and settle or others will continue and search it’s the devotion he showcased that was very admirable, keep going just because it’s temporary gone there is that road to still grow and learn from its what once was.

    1. Hi Yvette, I like that you said that we all have something we enjoy and one day it could just be gone, because this is so true. We do not know what tomorrow may bring, so we need to enjoy every minute we can.

  8. Paul Greenberg’s big moment of realization when it came to fisheries was probably a combination of the die off of fish in the pond he would fish and spending time in fish markets, evaluating what were the most targeted or sought after species. Which turned out to be salmon, cod, tuna, and sea bass. These instances gave him an idea of how fishermen seek out new grounds and how he himself had done that.
    I’m not always motivated about learning, but fisheries is an incredibly interesting to me. The more I learn about it, the more I realize I don’t know or don’t understand yet. And as I’d like to become a fisheries biologist some day, the more I can learn the better. I’ve always known I’d work for the Forest Service, Fish and Game, or maybe even the Park Service, but more on the wildlife side of things. I fell in with Fish and Game first and have stuck with them, working in both the sport fish and commercial/subsistence fisheries divisions. I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities through them to help with surveys and sampling different fish species. Honestly I wanted to see how far I could get without a college degree – which wasn’t too far – but I worked and gained a lot of experience in the process. It definitely helped me cement that this was something I could really pursue and enjoy doing. Never really had an “aha” moment about it, just constant confirmations throughout high school and on the job.

    1. I really connected with your comment about realizing how much you don’t know. After our first assignment on rating the global fisheries from 1 to 10 I realized how little I know, and how unsure I was of where to get more information. Thanks for the awesome post!

    2. I wish I had some experience working with fish and game, but I was always on the sports fishing side of things. I feel like growing up in Sitka a person doesn’t get an “aha” moment, its been back ground noise since the moment your conscience started buzzing and thinking.

  9. The original transformative event for Greenberg that sent him on his path to understanding the state of the world’s wild fisheries was when all of the largemouth bass in his local childhood pond died. These were some of the biggest of that species he had seen and he cared a lot for them. After they had died, it led to him learn about other fisheries outside of that pond. I personally experienced an event that was very similar to that of Greenberg when I was younger. There was a creek in my home town that had largemouth bass in it and provided awesome fishing all throughout middle school. It didn’t necessarily have monsters in it but I managed to pull a few four pounders out of it and that is always fun when you are fishing light tackle or fishing top water on top of the duckweed. However, one day all of the fish had died and I saw them decaying on the creek bed. I had no idea what had happened so I started to move upstream to see if I could figure it out. There were still fish in this creek but only up past a certain point where another creek had flown into it. It turns out that the lake which flowed into this second creek was fed by street runoff water and due to the extra nutrients it was receiving (assuming from trash and fertilizer runoff), it had suffered a golden algae bloom which had killed all of the fish within it and all of those downstream as well. After this event, I also began seeking for new areas to fish and learning about different types of fisheries besides those bass that lived in the creek near my home which I had down to a T. This inspired me to learn how to fish different lakes, streams, rivers, and even the ocean for all different species of fish. Originally, I decided to come to school at UAF because of the ability to work at the fire department while obtaining a bachelor’s degree but the opportunity to fish in Alaska and enjoy the wilderness made it all that more appealing. I decided to study in a field that has always interested me and that I have been researching ever since I was young all while being able to work my dream job. This combination makes me want to keep going with my college education even if I only end up working in one of the career paths I came here to pursue.

  10. Paul Greenberg was a small boy moving around with his mother in the early 70’s. As they moved around from estate to estate, Greenberg began to take up fishing as a hobby and ultimately as a life passion. The prevalence of running streams and rivers throughout the properties he lived on, he began to study the movement of the fish. As the bass he grew died out, the exploratory conservationist was born. Mr. Greenberg traveled upstream to find the source of his diminishing fish populations demise. Ultimately bringing him to the open ocean. As he studied the local fish populations, he began to realize that the fish markets and industrial size catches were of four main fish populations. Salmon, Striped Bass, Tuna and Cod. I can relate to his story because I also used fishing as a way to relieve stress and just over all enjoy life. My father introduced me to fishing off beaches and piers as a youth, where I would later go on my own as an adult. An interesting take away from this portion of the reading was that humans domesticate four main species of animal at a time. This has been the case throughout human history. Depending on which species is domesticated and farmed , dictates how the other tropic levels will respond. However due to over fishing, many other species have been negatively impacted. For instance, If we over fish the Mackerel, the Blue fish will not have a food source and otherwise starve or migrate else where to assure their populations survival.

  11. I believe the life changing event for Greenberg was when he was forced to look for new fishing grounds when his fish in his pond died for reasons that were beyond his capabilities. For me, I have been fishing my entire life and wanted nothing more than to learn about fish. To this day, I strive to learn as much as I can about all kinds of fisheries. Now, me being a military brat, I have had the chance o fish all around the world. Because of me fishing, I am forced to learn new ways to find and catch fish and since I have made it my life and I rely on fishing to stay afloat in my own life, I have to learn and find new ways to catch fish all the time. Fishing used to be a fun hobby or something that i would do with my dad. Over time that hobby slowly grew into a passion and soon a career. I used to fish tournaments for cash rewards to help my family aswell. This is what really pushed me to learn new ways to find and catch fish. Because when you have to rely on this hobby to help keep one afloat, it is sink or swim. If it wasn’t for this though, I would not have the interest in learning about these fisheries or the conservation for them.

    1. In my experience as one who doesn’t travel to new fishing grounds often. The old ones are always changing. you may think you know it after fishing it last year, but there is some minuet differences that throws you off, some change that must be adapted to to catch fish.

  12. Four Fish begins with author/narrator Paul Greenberg stating that in 1978 all the ‘fish I cared about died.’ To give a brief background, Greenberg talks about moving to different places and always finding the best places to fish, disclosing that fishing was the ‘one constant’ in his early years. The transformative event that helped create interest in the state of the world’s fisheries was when the fish in ‘his’ pond initially died, and a series of events afterwards helped support his interest in the fisheries world. His dying mother told him to go fishing, and he used fishing to help him cope with the grief of losing her.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve constantly been asking questions and questioning things. I was doubtlessly my parent’s most exhausting kid, because I would always ask WHY this and HOW can I do that? I soak up information like a sponge, and I always have–nothing has changed since I was young. That’s what drives me to learn; curiosity for everything and anything going on in the world. My life-changing experience was leaving home, Mountain Village, the place I had grown up and the only place I’ve ever felt safe and comfortable. It was about a year after I left that I was hit with the realization that even if I ever had a chance to go back, it wouldn’t matter because everything would be different–or at least my memories of home would be warped.

    The older I get the more I realize that I can go back home, or to another village, and I can pursue my dreams of doing Native Alaskan youth outreach. I know how hard it can be to leave the village, or find support you need for whatever it is you want to do with your future while being out there. That’s what motivates me to keep learning: knowing that one day I can impact the life of young Alaskans, and maybe make a change in the world for the better.

    1. Hi, Maya!
      It’s great that you can soak up information so easily! Even if I’m also someone who likes to learn how stuff works, sometimes I get a sort of brain fog and find it hard to focus and memorize, so I always admire people who are so inquisitive and manage to learn fast.
      To an extent, I know what it is to leave behind everything you once knew to pursue an education, and I really hope things turn out great for you. I’m sure they will. Also, it’s a really noble goal to aspire to impact the life of newer generations and make a better future for them. It really gives you a sense of purpose in life.

  13. I think the life changing moment for Greenburg was 1.) after the winter of 1978 when all the fish died, and 2.) When he saw the opening of the river to the sea, that really drove him to his path.
    I don’t have much experience with fishing; I’ve done it with my dad and great grandfather a few times when I was younger but I’ve had trouble finding the time to go out and fish. I’m not quite sure what drives me to learn; Ever since I was a kid I just kind of picked up on things, and rolled with them. I always had a knack for picking the harder subjects that challenged me so maybe that’s what paves everything. I really don’t have much experience when it comes to fishing, my dad and great grandfather always took me out when i was little and they taught me the basics of fishing; but it never was a regular thing that we did and it was always when we found the time. When I came up in the summer of 2019 to take a campus tour of UAF and the college’s fisheries program was mentioned and in that I also got to meet one of the directors, and I think listening to her talk about the program and its opportunities really set me on this path.

    1. Hi Tyra! I think that it is so cool that you got to meet one of the professors before you even knew you wanted to do this program, and just talking to her made you want to do the program. I also understand what you mean by saying you’ve always just had the drive to learn.

  14. Paul Greenberg tells us in his book Four Fish that the transformative event that set him on his path to understanding the world’s fisheries began while staying with his mother while she passed away from cancer. Greenberg recalls that in a moment of clarity his mom prompts him to go fishing like he used to as a boy. Twenty years after his childhood, Greenberg finds his old fishing grounds and the fish markets he used to frequent in a very different state than they were when he was a child. He finds the markets once full of the days catch now filled with what he describes as the same four fish, salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna. The decline of his childhood fishery and the epiphany that the same four fish are dominating the local fish markets drives Greenberg to ask why and do something about it.
    The transformative event that set Greenberg on the path to conservation seemed to transpire while returning home to care for his ill mother; however, it seems that his passion for his local fishery was grounded in his coming-of-age story of fishing as a young boy. This really resonated with me on a personal level. I have been fishing for as long as I can remember, and at 16 years old I was hunting whitetail deer and turkey by myself in rural East Tennessee. Hours spent alone in the woods season after season at a time in my life as I was growing and developing as a young man has had a profound impact on my life. I love nature and being able to go into our wild areas and connect with the land. This passion for our natural resources and the organisms that inhabit them as driven me to pursue an education in fisheries and hopefully be able to be a part of protecting fishery resources for generations to come.

    1. Hi Bryce,
      I think that it’s really admirable that you are dedicating yourself to protecting the land that has protected and provided for you in your youth. Even though the fish of Alaska are worlds apart from deer in Tennesee, it’s nice to see that a love for nature that starts young knows no bounds 🙂

  15. I believe that for Paul Greenberg, the initial thing that started his quest to begin looking for more fish would be that the fish in “his” pond were no longer there. Thus, drove him to search for additional fishing locations, which eventually escalated to him buying a boat, and proper storage space, that way he could go out into the ocean to find more fish. The causes of the fish leaving or dying were unknown because multiple things could have affected them per Greenberg, but the bottom line was that they weren’t there anymore so he took actions into his own hands and began to look for them. I believe that my drive to never stop pursuing something that I want, is because of my family. My parents are a great support system, and honestly I just want to help as many people and animals as possible, and I do not want to let anyone down. I achieved my Veterinary Technology degree, and I currently work with small/large animals, but my end goal is to work with aquatic animals and do conservation work on the coast somewhere.

  16. Greenberg’s youth was one of substances where he went fishing not just because of fun, but to put food on the table. Changes in the environment pushed him off “use to be” good fishing grounds to new ones. A childhood of fishing and explorations, learning from his environment, knowing the seasonal changes, where to fish and when. Taking a break from fishing to carry on with life and then coming back to fishing and seeing the changes in the fishery is what I believe the “event” is.

    I can relate to Greenberg’s childhood. I grew up fishing in Alaska, most of the time unsupervised. I remember my dad locking me outside so I didn’t sit in front of the TV all day and giving me a box of firecrackers to go blow up mosquito larva with. Besides almost loosing some fingers I was pretty safe growing up in Sitka. I was on the beach most of the time and never around when a bear wondered through. I went by the changing of the seasons from the winter transition into spring when the whales showed up to feed on the spawning herring, spring kings at Medvejie hatchery, then the pink salmon show up at Indian river in July to August, in September with the fall rains the coho come in and after they are done, its hunting season. Most of the fishing burden was placed on the pink salmon, the most numerous Pacific salmon.
    My “event” of realizing how much negative change was happening in the ocean was bad year king salmon fishing. I have been hearing the decline in fishing ever since I could remember in Sitka. declining king salmon returns, smaller black cod, the herring being over fished. Since then I have found other information about how escaped king salmon are colonizing the southern tip of South America and the pink salmon invasion of Europe to be fascinating subjects of study.

  17. In Four Fish, the transformative event that Paul Greenburg credits his interest in fisheries to, was in 1978 when the bass that lived in a local pond died over the winter. I don’t think there is a specific life changing event that took place, that made me want to pursue a degree in fisheries. I used to camp on the beach a lot, as a kid, and was always interested in ocean life. I have thought about careers in aquariums or as a park ranger. I have always liked marine animals and thought I wanted a career in marine biology when I graduated high school. Especially since the pandemic, I honestly have been struggling with staying motivated throughout each semester. I’m trying to get my gpa up this semester and I will have to retake some classes in the summer semesters. I don’t really know what is keeping me motivated. I am the first of my family to go to college, so the whole experience has been pretty confusing, but I hope to complete a degree program here.

  18. In the opening pages of Four Fish, the author Paul Greenberg describes his transformative event that sets him on his path to understanding the state of the world’s wild fisheries was the death of the largemouth bass in 1978. This event was able to broaden his ideas on how wild fisheries were with all people and all fish. The death of his mother also brought him to his path by leading him by into his passion of fishing and finding out the truth on how us humans impact the fishing season.

    My drive to learn involves my curiosity of the nature world and marine life. I have a small understanding of the ocean and it only drives me to want to understand more. I have always love learning about sea creatures and going to aquariums to learn something new. Even though I have a slight fear of the ocean, it is my biggest fascination and I am willing to move forward to learn. I did not have a life changing event that started this interest of mine. It has always been this way since I could remember. I used to love learning about sea creatures and doing reports about them. My motivation is my curiosity and wanting to learn something new which is keeping me going.

  19. The event that triggered Greenberg’s interest in fisheries was a combination of two things, the loss of his mother and the discovered loss of the world that made up the wonder of his youth. Fishing was something that was very important to him – you could even say central to his identity as a growing boy – and was a way of life wholeheartedly supported by his mother. When she suggested he returned to his boyhood hobby and then passed away shortly afterwards, the author returned seaward in an attempt not only to re-immerse himself in the feeling of fishing but also in a big part to seek comfort in the memory of the period of this life where he felt solid and secure. However, by returning to the waters and past time of his youth and finding it depleted, ruined, and a mere husk of what it was, he found himself further grief-stricken rather than consoled. Although his feeling of loss in regard to fish was obviously not as great as that of his mother, this compound event triggered his interest in fisheries, because although he could never resolutely do anything about his mother’s death, he could invest his efforts into potentially saving the fish that he so loved.

    I don’t think that there was any single transformative event that inspired me to learn more about ocean science, but the desire to learn more about nature has definitely always been there for me. In my early childhood before my memory, I apparently spent much time on the water and among the nature of Tongass rainforest. Most of my childhood was spent in southcentral Alaskan forest, which is much different from southeast but made me fall in love with the outdoors all the same. I always knew that the one thing that I could study that my passion for would never falter would be nature of some sort, and when I returned to southeast for work and school, the ocean once again stole my heart and rekindled my passion anew.

    1. Hello!
      I think it’s really nice that you’ve always had that idea in mind, even before you can even remember, like something that was just written for you, if you believe in that sort of things. Most of my life I thought I was meant to do something different from what I am doing right now, but I also knew it had to do something with sciences. The ocean does draw me, too, even if it’s not with the same passion or history as it seems to be resonating within you.

      And by the way, you’ve got some pretty neat writing abilities!

      1. It certainly does feel that way! It’s very cool that the ocean attracts people from all different backgrounds, at one point or another. 🙂 Also, thank you!

    2. I like how you said that your love for nature never falters. I think that the outdoors is a place I can depend on to clear my head. I love how, if we preserve it now, nature can be a happy place for many generations to come.

  20. While Greenburg was talking to the fishermen and walking through his local fish markets herealised that the fish being sold were much different than the species and quantity that he remembered from his youth. As Greenburg looked around the fish markets he realised that the fish species that were being sold were not the same as when he was a kid. He realised that the fishes that were primarily being consumed were shifting due to the overexpoltation of the species. I had a similar experience with the amount and kinds of shells on the Gulf of Mexico’s shores. When I was little I remeber going along the shore, digging my hands into the wet sand and pulling up these little wedge clams (which my family calls coquinas). As I would watch them hurry and burie themselves back into the sand I was always think, how many there were and I would find shells that were empty to take back to my grandparent’s house. At my granparent’s house I would make fun art, one time I made a standing pelican from shells that my great- grandmother had found. Looking through her shell collection I was amazed how big the size and how much variety the shells had. When my great-grandmother was roaming the shores there was an abundance, when I was little the abundance was dwindling, now even less variety is seen on the shores near my grandparent’s house. I think that my drive to learn is that I want to discover if I can contrbuite in any way to put the ocean and the world to what they were 50 years ago.

    1. That’s such a lovely memory, Linnaea. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of helping protect and restore the density of the wedge clams :]

    2. What a great memory! I remember finding shells at the beach when I was a little girl! An last time I went to the beach where I grew up there were hardly any shells anymore. Its sad how everything is going away as we get older.

  21. The first event to set Greenberg onto his path of our ocean’s fisheries was when he was a child in 1978, where the largemouth bass within the pond he had labeled his “hunting” ground died in the winter. It was a small push that, though not evident at the time, undoubtedly heavily impacted his life’s path.
    The promise of outcome to knowledge, as well as curiosity, are what drives me to learn. Knowing that what is taught will prove useful to me later down the line, finding how to apply what I’m learning, etc. is what compels me to continue forward in my studies. I believe that education is an equal exchange between student and teacher, it’s a dynamic that’s health greatly depends on engagement from either party, a complete “give and take” relationship. It’s extremely difficult for student and teacher to thrive in a school environment, whether independently or codependently, without a sense of intrigue/interest and thus, inherently, a curiosity or passion for the topic at hand.
    I have had a similar experience to Greenberg myself, around the same age as well. In 2014, I went to the Blue Loon, a now sadly defunct restaurant near my family’s house, with my mother and father for dinner. The Blue Loon was unique, in that it hosted live shows and movies in the back of the building, which was an old, retired plane hangar. That night, a documentary that had come out recently, called The Breach, was playing, and I attended with my family. The documentary talked about the steadily declining population of salmon within Alaskan waters, as well as how projects such as the Pebble Mine work to further damage those numbers. It opened my eyes immensely to an issue I had no idea was going on, despite coming from a family who loved fish.

    1. I think what you said is a good reason to push for more education in school’s curriculum as well as what the public has access to. Even if you consider yourself a pretty well-informed person there is always something more you could learn.

  22. I believe Greenberg’s first event would be when he was a child in 1978 and found “his” pond with the large mouth bass. He was very happy about his experience with fishing which a lot of people love to fish! When the fish supply which I believe might have been caused by the cold weather, was depleted. I was raised fishing as well. When I was growing up we fished in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri. I was able to catch large mouth bass, walleye, trout, and catfish. As I got older and stopped being around my dad I found it more difficult to find these kinds of fish. Now that I am in Alaska I am able to fish for Halibut and salmon which I have come to love. I do miss walleye which was my favorite flavor of fish. I have always been interested in learning new things since I was a little girl. The drive of trying to understand something I do not know much about has always been my drive of learning.

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