David M. Karl

Oceanographer David Karl was on board the R/V Polar Duke as it took our video crew south to Palmer Station just before Christmas 1996. He'll be seen deploying sediment traps during Program 1.

I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York on the shores of polluted Lake Erie. My interest in science was sparked by my desire to do something to protect the environment and I thought that I would eventually enter the field of wildlife biology. I attended a public high school and received a good education, but in retrospect had only three meaningful courses during those 4 years: Latin, Chemistry and Algebra. My performance in high school was less than my potential, especially by comparison to my academically talented siblings. When I was 17 years old I saw the ocean for the first time and knew at that moment that I would make a career in oceanography. Everything from that time was focused on achieving that goal.

...I am currently a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii, where I enjoy teaching graduate courses and conducting research. When I am not working in the field or in the classroom, I relax by riding my Harley-Davidson motorcycle or by kayaking in the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. My career in science has been both rewarding and exciting. I cannot imagine doing anything else, and I cannot imagine having a "real" job.