Ask the Scientist


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How do scientists go from OMG to PhD? How do they turn their passion for science into their profession? What advice do they have for future scientists?

If you are a 5th-12th grade student, undergraduate, teacher or parent, join us to ask these questions and more in a Q&A session with our weekly Seminar speakers on Wednesdays from 2:30 - 3 PM.

Parents must give permission for children under 18 to participate. 

Register to attend here.

Questions? Contact Erin Blackwood at



February 2 - Ben Becker

Ben is the NPS Science Advisor and Research Coordinator for the NPS Californian Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit at UC Berkeley. From 2001 - 2020, he was at Point Reyes National Seashore in a variety of roles including Marine Ecologist and Chief of the Science Division. His focus is developing and delivering scientific information to inform NPS and partner management goals across ecosystems, species and stakeholder interests. Similarly, he works with partners to implement science education and internship programs to train the next generation of scientists. He performs research and monitoring on marine food webs, seabirds, pinnipeds, estuaries, and several threatened and endangered species in Northern California. Favored tools include stable isotopes and study designs that can answer a specific question well rather than a broad question poorly. Ben received his degrees from UCLA (BA), Yale (MS), and UC Berkeley (PhD).