Ben Mather, '22

BS, Oceanography


I’m an Oceanography major and am minoring in both Arctic Studies and Aquatic Fisheries, but don’t assume that my interests end there. I’m also interested in algae, marine invertebrates, ocean conservation, social issues and sustainable practices in agriculture and aquaculture. In the past, I interned on a sustainable farm and am currently trying to get involved in efforts to manage invasive European green crab populations on the east coast.

I grew up just outside of Washington D.C. (in Maryland) and spent my summers by the ocean. Because of where and how I spent my childhood, I’ve become involved in activism, particularly through protests focused on social and environmental issues and, obviously, I’ve grown to love the ocean too. Through my passion for the ocean, I’ve developed a desire to study and protect it and through my proximity to the frontier of socio-political change (in D.C.), I’ve developed a passion for helping others through cooperative efforts.

I want to minor in Arctic Studies because it’s the perfect overlap between my interest in helping people and conducting ocean science. In recent decades, the Arctic Ocean and region as a whole has experienced a huge amount of stress as a result of global warming, causing sudden environmental changes. The ocean is opening up, the permafrost is melting, and peoples that subsist on Arctic resources are being adversely affected by this. It’s my intention to eventually conduct research that is focused on the changing ocean as much as it is on cooperating with the peoples whose lives are being affected by it. I don’t have any research experience yet, but, rest assured, I plan to take advantage of the world-class research opportunities at the UW in the next couple of years.