Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
On the forefront of oceanic environmental awareness is a Cedar Crest professor, John Cigliano.
Cigliano was recently mentioned in an article called “Do Protected Areas of Wildlife really work?” He gave his opinion on the status of current protected oceanic areas. While he ultimately agrees that there is more that can be done, he also thinks that it is important to be proactive in other ways. Although he encourages students to take his new marine ecology course, he encourages everyone to read about what’s happening to the oceans and get involved with organizations. “Awareness is key,” Cigliano said.
Cigliano’s research focus on campus is studying the fisheries of Queen Conch in relation to marine biology. This interest in marine biology stemmed from his childhood in Long Island, NY.
“From the time I was a little boy, I knew I was going to be a marine biologist. I spent all my time and summers in the ocean: fishing, clamming, crabbing, boating, and diving. I knew I was going to go into marine biology,” said Cigliano. In undergraduate at the University of Rochester, Cigliano studied biology and geology and was given the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in the U.S. Virgin Islands in St. Croix. In graduate school he studied the behavior of octopuses. However, while he was doing his work he started to recognize what was happening to the oceans. It was then that he switched his focus to a more applied method of studying.
“Instead of studying about the oceans, I studied about how to protect the oceans, becoming more hands-on,” said Cigliano. “Then I started to look at doing more conservation work.”
Throughout his career, Cigliano looked at conservation issues and fisheries of octopuses. Then he moved to his work with Queen Conch.
“There seemed to be more of a need for studying the fisheries of Queen Conch,” Cigliano said.
One of his senior biology research students, Kara Welch, said, “He’s been really supportive at every part of my college career. He’s also dedicated to his field of study and it shows in all of his lectures.”
In addition to working with his student’s doing research, Cigliano has ten published papers and is currently working on others. Cigliano suggested a mentoring relationship combined with hard work in order to get research published.
“For an undergraduate, find a college that allows students to do research with the professors, which we do here. Do a good job, because ultimately what makes a project publishable is the results that you get,” Cigliano said.
When Bradford College closed in 2000, Cigliano found himself looking for another college where he could teach. When he came across Cedar Crest, he found an instant connection.
“I liked the fact that it was small, that it’s a liberal arts college, and having two daughters and it being a women’s college also was a big draw for me,” said Cigliano.
In the midst of fatherly or academia duties, Cigliano enjoys scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing in order to keep his love for the ocean alive.