I am a professor in earth science and ocean engineering and am the director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and codirector of the NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center. The CCOM/JHC is a national center of excellence for developing innovative techniques for ocean mapping and exploration and for training the next generation of ocean mappers. We have about 85 people that I supervise in this mission.
Early exposure to the books and TV shows of Jacques Cousteau. Really!
Going to sea, exploring and discovering. The ocean is full of mysteries and our job is to help unravel them.
I actually am most relaxed at sea but at home it would be skiing or other sports.
Jacques Cousteau of course, but also several of my mentors, including my thesis advisor Dr. F.N. Spiess, who was a very highly decorated World War II submarine captain and went on to become one of the leading ocean scientists in the world.
Don't give up on science and math. Try to get involved in internships or volunteer to help in projects.
Increasing. There is tremendous attention being paid to the role the oceans play in the survival of our planet and the vulnerability of the oceans and coasts to man-made and natural disasters (oil spills, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.).
Hopefully, the same thing.