Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

Musings by Donna #25 Jared – Otherwise Known as Dr. Kid

Jared was my second child and my first son. He’s my favorite son and I am proud of him. (Actually, he’s my only son.) On December 8th, 2010 Jared officially became Dr. Jared Figurski when he earned his PhD in Marine Biology at the University of Santa Cruz in California.

It was no surprise to either me or Jared’s father that this would be his path in life. He started down this road many, many years ago when he was just four-years-old. And so the story goes …

Jared became interested in underwater life when he caught his first fish on a paper clip and a string in a stream in the woods behind his grandfather’s house in Pennsylvania. He was about 4 years old.

Jared soon graduated to a plastic fishing rod that he got at his grandfather’s pharmacy. It worked wonders. He still caught fish with it – cementing his life career.

As a teenager Jared oversaw about ten fish tanks of various sizes in his bedroom. Once he even devised a contraption to separate brine shrimp babies from their mother to avoid their demise. He made the contraption with a coke liter bottle and plastic tubing. Somehow this invention allowed the babies to live.

Jared grew up with no TV (no sets in the house at all). This gave him hours and hours to work on his tanks and read the countless fishing and wildlife magazines that we subscribed to for him.

During his high school summers, Jared worked at the Maria Mitchell Marine Aquarium on Nantucket. There he cared for all of the salt water tanks. He went out in the Zodiac to collect specimens to add to the aquariums. He also gave tours of the aquarium.

Jared’s whole life has revolved around fish. He even dragged me along many times to the Oradell Reservoir where we would sit on the banks and catch sunfish. The deal was he had to bait my hook.

So, it’s no wonder that Jared, after all these years and preparation, holds a degree in marine life. Rarely a day goes by that does not find him clad in a wet suit diving on his research project or surfing the waves of the Pacific  Ocean for relaxation.

Jared’s thesis was entitled Patterns and Sources of Variation in Drift Algae and the Ecological Consequences for Kelp Forests. It was very impressive. The room was packed with more than a hundred professors, students, family, and friends to hear Jared speak. Though I didn’t understand a word of his talk, it was beautifully delivered and I was beaming with pride.

CONGRATULATIONS … Dr. Jared David Figurski!

(Dr. Kid). I am so proud of you.








(Photos compliments of Me.)


January 2, 2011 - Posted by | Anything Writing, Musings by Donna | , , , , , , ,


  1. Jared! We are so proud of you! Love you so much!

    Comment by Kiersten Figurski | January 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks Kier! I love you guys too. Was so good to spend time with you and the family over christmas.

      Comment by jared figurski | January 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. Congratulations to “Dr. Kid.” I love all the old pics of Jared; I remember him so well then. Sure miss seeing him too!

    Comment by Sanner | January 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks Aunt San! I miss you guys too. Those pictures bring back some great memories!

      Comment by jared figurski | January 3, 2011 | Reply

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