William Blake wrote: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.” One begins to understand these words when examining a terrarium. These simple ecosystems held in the confines of a small, usually glass container are the product of an accidental discovery in 1842. Quickly a market for the “Wardian Case” - the early terrarium - quickly emerged to transport plants safely overseas aboard ships. Both open and closed system terrariums are regularly encountered with thriving ecosystems that include different varieties of plants, insects, small fish or amphibians.


For people who like to look at the “big picture” when solving problems, becoming an ecologist could provide a chance to develop that skill. Careers in ecology involve the scientific study of the interactions of organisms with each other and their environment often with a specific focus on processes that control how abundant specific organisms are and how they are distributed. Ecologists focus on the connections between living organisms and how those connections are influenced by the environment so much of the work that ecologists do take them out in the field.