Arachnology

Salt

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
36
Being new here, I couldn't find a better places to post this thread... so, sorry if this belongs somewhere else.

Anyway, I'm a 17-year-old spider enthusiast, and I'd love a career involving field research, and observing behaviour both in captivity and in the wild. I'm also interested in their biology, so that would be a healthy addition to the career.

Problem is, I'm studying Animal Management in a British college, and I have no idea where to go next. Possibly studying Biological Sciences? I'd like to leave the UK, preferably move to the states, but that's going to cost me a lot and I need to know how I could get that money, or other alternatives into following a arachnologist career.

Please help, and, if you're working with spiders yourself, job/course offers would be more than welcome! (Worth a shot, it's an arachnology forum...)
 

Ingar

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
46
There are mostly arachnopeoples, just entusiasts who keep spiders and thats all.
I am related to science. But I am entomologist, not an arachnologist.
I think you schould go to Canada. They have even special programms for magisters e.t.c.
You schould to do some research in internet - there must be apointed a lot of places... I believe that with good marks and diploma from UK you can get a scholarship.
 

Salt

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
36
Ok, thank you. I am currently studying for a National Diploma in Animal Management, which includes biology and invert science, so it should be a step in the right direction.

Anybody else know any specific organisations that could train me themselves, or fund me going to university? Thanks
 

Midknight xrs

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
132
The problem you will have is finding a school that even has an entomolgy field of study. I know one of my professors has a daughter getting her degree in the UK. I don't believe it is in specifically arachnology, but i do know that it is in entomology.

There are plenty of schools in the states to check out, what i would look for are scholarships. That is your best bet. Outside of that is loans.
 

codykrr

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
3,113
The problem I see arising. Is once you become an "arachnologist" you wont be able to find much work.

There are a few actual arachnologist on the boards here.

maybe they will chime in.
 

Salt

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
36
Let's hope so! It's an area of study I'm very interested in, possibly an obsession. Unfortunately, careers in arachnology would be scarce mainly because nobody cares about spiders. :(
 

pocock1899

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
84
Not sure what route you'd take in the UK, but here are some tips for the US.

You'd need get experience doing field work, as well as finding somewhere to go to school. Figure on a Biology undergraduate degree and something more specialized for your Masters. Ultimately though, you're aiming for your doctorate. While a grad student you can shoot for working someplace that does field work or taxon work. Say, for instance, the Scorpion Sytematics Research Group at the American Museum of Natural History.

http://scorpion.amnh.org/

If scorpions aren't your cup of tea, start thinking about what aspects of Arachnology you're looking at, then see who is doing that kind of work. Contact them and find out what they would recommend as far as schooling and internships.

The academic community is not huge in this area, building contacts at your age would be a big plus. Email folks, ask questions (not dumb ones) and ask for chances to help. Be aware you'll start doing busy work at most labs before they trust you do anything of consequence. Good luck.
 

Bigboy

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
1,234
You are a university student so use your library and check out an online reference database. Your best bet is to find a topic you like and see who is publishing in that field.

This will give you the opportunity to see who is working on what, what caliber journals they are publishing to and more importantly, it will give you the opportunity to see if this is really something you want to spend your professional life doing. Once you find a researcher, check out what school they work in. If they are at a university then look next at scholarship opportunities. At this point you can begin a dialogue with this person and do not expect it to go off smoothly. You will probably never hear back from the first few people you write. These folks are very very busy.

If you follow this path then you need to understand that you will be a poor, overworked and under appreciated student for the next 10-12 years of your life. You will constantly be in debt and you will always be tired. To get an idea of what I'm talking about, try to live on home brand pasta, rice, potato, carrot and canned meat for a couple weeks and see if that appeals to you. You will also need to be a stellar student and persuasive writer if you expect to secure scholarships.

The career prospects in that field are purely academic. You should be interested in higher research and publishing competitively. You will also be living off of grants, so again, writing is going to be huge for the rest of your natural life.

We murder to dissect. What I mean by that is that you may very well find that making something you love into something you have to do could end up ruining it.

And now that I've given you some dark clouds to think about I wish you the best of luck. I'm currently doing the same thing for herpetology and I have about 3-3.5 years of schooling to go not including the post doc work I'll probably end up doing at some point (I'm 6 in already).
 

tiger cowboy

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
20
Woo! Some grim stuff up there eh? The things the folks above say are true. There are bright sides. Assistantships can keep the debt load down, however you will do a lot of work for them. And with the proper mind set it can be extremely rewarding throughout.

Writing cannot be stressed enough, though it is SCIENTIFIC WRITING not normal writing. Scientific writing is dull, and can take the most fascinating thing in the world and put you to sleep, and I hate every second of it I have to do, but it makes the academic world go 'round. Practice it, and it will get easier.

On a different note, one of the most interesting bits of advice I got when I was seeking graduate studies was to not do something you were in love with. Research is extremely demanding and can turn love to hate pretty quickly. I've seen it a lot. That's why I work with birds. It can of course work the other way as well, but burnout is a serious problem.
 
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