Howdy! I’m Jason Webber.
I am an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Southwestern Community College. For me, teaching is the best job I could ever ask for. It’s challenging. It’s rewarding. And best of all, it makes you rich beyond your wildest dreams. Well, maybe just the first two things. (wink)
After high school, I bounced around from one major to the next in community college just trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and career. Science always scared the buh-jeezus out of me, until I eventually took a biology class at SD City College with a professor (Gary Wisehart) who seemed to help things click. So, I took another class with him: Oceanography.
It was in that class that Professor Wisehart and I were having a chat and he mentioned that one of his former students had just gotten her Ph.D. in ichthyology — the study of fish.
Being that kid who was glued to the TV during shark week, I was floored when I heard this.
“Wait a minute…,” I asked him, “You can get a job working with fish?!?!” And from that point, my whole college career suddenly made sense; I was going to study biology and particularly the biology of sharks!
Now, let me say that I was also that kid who wasn’t even sure I wanted to go to college at all. But after finishing my bachelor’s degree and getting a job with California Fish and Game, I wanted more. So, it was off to college again to get a master’s degree. Then, I still wanted MORE. Luckily, one of my undergraduate advisors and heroes (Joe Cech) at UC Davis, had a place in his lab for one more doctoral student before retiring.
It’s been a long and quite convoluted trip. And where did I end up? Right back at community college where I first found my passion. I am proud to be, what I would consider, a “success story” of the community college system. From being completely lost and uncertain about going to college, to following my dream of studying sharks and earning a Ph.D., and now (hopefully) helping other budding young minds find their compass and realize their potential to fulfill their dreams.
Ph.D. degree in Ecology (Marine Ecology emphasis)
San Diego State University / University of California, Davis, Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology. December 2011.
Dissertation: Swimming Performance and the Ecology of Early Life Stages of Temperate Marine Fishes.
M.S. degree in Natural Resources (Fisheries Biology option)
Humboldt State University, Arcata, California. May 2004.
Thesis: Reproductive Condition, Dietary Habits, and Parasites of the Leopard Shark in Humboldt Bay, California.
B.S. degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology (Fisheries Biology emphasis)
University of California, Davis. March 1998.
Science: fish biology/ecology/physiology, marine science, fermentation science, human and comparative vertebrate anatomy, human physiology, biochemistry
Technology: video production and editing (Final Cut Pro), photography and photo editing (Lightroom and Photoshop), website design/coding (Dreamweaver)
Personal: cooking (primarily Mexican and Thai), puzzles (sudoku and crossword), cycling and bike races, artisanal wine and craft beer, politics, movies (biopic, Scorsese-esque dramas, and tear-jerker “chick flicks”)