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Fame

Maybe you’ll never became as big a fish in the marine biology world as the late, great Jacques Cousteau, a French guy who was known as much for his love of wine, women and song as he was for his seafaring ways. He could do it all — he was a naval officer, author and researcher who studied underwater life via an Aqua Lung (scuba-diving equipment) he helped invent.

So, you can’t be Monsieur Jacques, but you may have a crack at basking the limelight of a large environmental event that demands the nation's attention every few years, putting marine biologists in the spotlight. In 1988, three gray whales couldn't make it out of the Arctic and migrate south because of ice buildup. The heroes of the day were marine biologists from Greenpeace and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who got called in to help rescue these creatures. A lot of reporters tagged along and played on the public's fascination, creating a big deal over three young whales. Cue awkward-looking scientists on national television. “Big Miracle” is Hollywood's attempt at a movie based loosely on these events, with Drew Barrymore playing the Greenpeace marine biologist.

Although you can be sure this movie takes a few detours from reality to work its Hollywood magic, it still helps put the hard work of marine biologists in the limelight, at least a little bit. Don't count on the movie to make marine biologists the next hot career, but again, marine biologists aren't in the gig for the glory.

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