CofC Faces to Know: Peter Meier

CofC Faces to Know: Peter Meier

Name: Peter Meier

Hometown: Norfolk, Connecticut

Education: B.S. in Marine/Coastal Science, University of Connecticut

Job title: Marine Operations Manager

How long have you worked at the College? 14 years

What are your job responsibilities? My job responsibilities fall into three categories:

  1. I run the Grice Marine Lab’s boat program, which includes teaching boating/kayaking safety, designing and deploying field equipment with students and professors and operating/maintaining Grice Marine Lab’s fleet of vessels.
  2. As the wetlab manager, I help students and professors design, set up and maintain tanks and life-support systems for a variety of marine organisms that are being studied at the lab. This has included animals such as sea urchins, blue crabs, diamondback terrapins, oysters, flounder and a host of other local organisms.
  3. As the outreach coordinator, I run CORAL (Community Outreach, Research And Learning), which is the lab’s outreach program that is primarily based around a large touch-tank. With the help of undergrad students, we bring a variety of local marine animals to schools in Charleston County in order to promote interest in marine biology among K-12 students. We also bring students here to the lab and conduct tours and microscope workshops to introduce them to the research being conducted here.

What do you like most about your job? I love all the aspects of my job. However, my work with our outreach program is particularly satisfying. Seeing a third-grader holding a horseshoe crab for the first time or watching a group of fifth-graders observing thousands of plankton swimming around through microscopes is pretty amazing. Hopefully it will inspire them to pursue a career in science.

What question do you get asked most in your job and what’s your typical answer? I get asked a lot of questions on a daily basis, and my typical answer would be “Let’s figure it out together!”

What’s your favorite location on campus and why? Grice Marine Lab. If you haven’t been out here, we are located right on Charleston Harbor on James Island. The scenery is pretty spectacular! Come out and visit! We’re open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What are your hobbies? I love to fish, hang out with my pup Magnolia and play my guitar. I play bluegrass in a band called The Rusty Hook Ramblers – we’re currently on hiatus, though, so I sit in with other musicians/bands whenever possible.

What was your favorite TV show growing up? Hummm … we didn’t have a TV in the house when I was growing up, so we played outside in the beautiful forests and streams of northwest Connecticut and read a lot!

What was your first job? My first job after graduating from UCONN was at a marine lab in Connecticut as a lab assistant working on a research vessel and in the lab primarily monitoring the marine environment around the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant.

What’s your favorite Lowcountry restaurant? So many to choose from, but I love Zias on James Island.

Describe your perfect day. Any day out on the water is a perfect day to me! I love the ocean and all that dwells in and on it, so there’s that! ☺


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