a day in the life of an accidental jellyfish wrangler

From early 2018 through much of 2019, I worked at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) on an effort to tag and track jellyfish in the wild. I had graduated in 2016 burnt out to the core and with the creative capacity of a sack of potatoes, and probably would’ve preferred hibernating in a Slovakian ice cave to starting a job had it been financially viable. After a tired year in industry, I left. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, except that I had the distinct sense I’d crushed something I loved to death, and I wanted it back, whatever it was. I’d always loved the ocean, for mostly sentimental and unscientific reasons, but now the thought came to me—why not work on it? I didn’t know anything about the ocean, formally. I didn’t know anything about biology, formally. But I figured that I didn’t really know anything about anything, and also, I’d forgotten how to care about looking like an idiot.

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