A Rising Star Pursues His Ocean Dream

BSC.Justin8.jpgJustin Reinicke was uninspired in high school, and didn't go straight on to college. He worked in the concrete industry, but after a while began thinking about what might come next. "I knew in the back of my mind that I had potential, and I didn't want it to go to waste."

He decided to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist. He enrolled at BSC, and took 18-21 credits per semester earning straight As. He drove the reintroduction of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa and served two years as president of the BSC chapter.

"A college degree isn't going to hand you your career on a silver platter. You get out what you put in...BSC is a great place with quality educators to continue your education or start a new path, but the individual must also be dedicated and driven to get what he or she wants."

Reinicke certainly was driven. He graduated with two associate degrees from BSC and went on to double major in biochemistry and marine biology at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), graduating summa cum laude. Today he works as an instrument specialist for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. He also is in the early phases of starting up an aquaculture business. He's taking his sideline slowly, self-funding the project as he acquires the fish tanks, aquariums and stock.

He'd like to see fewer wild fish harvested for saltwater aquariums. It's an interest that developed at BSC, where he worked with biology professor Jean Rolandelli on the campus's saltwater aquariums.

"In landlocked North Dakota we don't understand reef environment and its importance to the globe. Fifty percent of oxygen is produced by algae in ocean - it's not all trees."

From a landlocked upbringing, Reinicke has embraced ocean life. In addition to his work, and his business, he spearfishes and free dives in the Pacific Ocean where "...it's just you, one breath of air and the ocean."

Reinicke is living his dream, and says the opportunities BSC provided were influential in that.