Rick Mohammed
  Physical Oceanographer

B.S., Mathematics, University of South Carolina
M.S., Meteorology and Oceanography, Naval Post Graduate School (candidate)

What is your current job and what does it entail?
My job as a Navy meteorology and oceanography (METOC) officer is to provide safe and accurate weather routing and forecasts for ships at sea. Additionally, METOC officers provide oceanographic data such as fronts, eddies, temperature vs. depth profiles, and a myriad of other services to ships and commands requesting them. For more information on careers in the US Navy, visit www.navy.com.

What was the key factor in your career decision?
My interest in the ocean was my primary reason for making oceanography a career. I initially joined the Navy so that I could take advantage of the GI Bill and get money for college. I ended up going to college and getting my bachelor's degree while on active duty.

What do like most about your career?
The travel. The Navy allows one an opportunity to visit many places. Additionally, I get to work with front-running technology and keep up to date on the latest advancements in our science.

What do you like least about your career?
I'll never know everything there is to know about this field. There isn't a finite end to the knowledge that can be gained about the ocean and atmosphere.

What do you do to relax?
I enjoy music, movies, reading, scuba diving and art.

Who are your heroes/heroines?
One of the people whom I most admire is Gen. Colin Powell. He's a man who started from humble beginnings and became a great leader and an inspiration to our country. He is proof that anyone can be a success through hard work, dedication and motivation.

What advice would you give a high school student who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in your field?
Take a lot of math courses. Mathematics will prove to be one of the most valuable tools required for any science. It is never too late to start taking math courses no matter what your level is. Even if you're a senior in high school getting ready to graduate, the first course you should sign up for is a math course. Students should not rush into higher math but build a good foundation and then progress upward toward the higher math.

Are career opportunities in your field increasing or decreasing and why?
As a naval oceanographer, the opportunities for a career move up and down with the emphasis that is put on the military at the time. I believe that naval oceanography will always have a future. There are too many lives that are dependent on the job and service that we provide for us to go away.

What will you be doing 10 years from today?
I expect to still be supporting the US Navy and other navies throughout the world by providing the most accurate data available and thus assisting them to make safe tactical decisions.

© 2007 WHOI Sea Grant Program and NH Sea Grant Program
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