Teeming with life, the woodland creek at the childhood home of Noah West ’24 proved to be fertile ground for his passion for marine biology.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve always been outside in a creek or in the woods,” the Greensboro native says.
The Biology major and Honors student has a particular love for fish and marine plants.
“I would get a bucket and then go in the creek behind my house and catch fish, salamanders, and frogs,” he says. “Both of my parents are big into biology, so they supported me, and I just love animals. I also love science, and I love being able to learn and do new things with it.”
He comes by his passion naturally. Noah’s father, Doug West ’93, also majored in Biology at Guilford. His mother, Sarah West, now a teacher, worked with the snakes at the Greensboro Science Center before Noah was born.
A Career in Ichthyology
Noah’s future is in fish. He has already caught the attention of Biota, a research group that specializes in breeding such marine life as fish, coral, and clams. The company has a breeding facility in North Carolina and is interested in hiring Noah after he graduates.
“They breed native species as well as a lot of fish for trade to fund their research. This includes ornamental fish for aquariums. They also release a lot of food fish back into native ecosystems to help support the populations that are dwindling due to overfishing,” he explains. “I would like to work on the rearing of marine fish species. I actually have some breeding pairs at home called gobies, a genus that has many species, so I’d want to breed those for Biota.”
His part-time job also provides hands-on experience as an ichthyologist. In addition to his coursework, Noah works at a local pet store with reptiles and fish, a job he’s held for four years and will continue through graduation.