Chasing Tiny Tigers

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Career Path for David Pearson

Fast Facts:

  • Number of years in school: 18
  • Favorite class / subject: Ornithology
  • Hardest class / subject: Organic Chemistry
  • First Job: Grocery bag boy
  • Dream job as a kid: Bird watcher
  • One word you would use to describe your current job: Exciting

What does it take to chase down a career in biology, not to mention, tiger beetles around the world?

Out in the field, David Pearson is always the early bird, up at the crack of dawn to catch the worm, or, in his case, the beetle. Having eaten a quick breakfast and tidied up his tent or other small residence, he hikes out to his study site. He spends the rest of his day out in nature.

david pearsonDr. Pearson has repeated this ritual all over the world, from Alaska to Peru, Brazil to New Zealand. To Dr. Pearson, the best part of his career in science has been this opportunity for world travel, to see different cultures, learn new languages, and see so much of whats over the horizon.

When he's back home at Arizona State University, Dr. Pearson spends much of his time teaching, or planning educational workshops around the world. Hes a fortunate scientist because he doesnt need to spend great portions of his time writing requests for money from the government or scientific organizations; royalties from his workshops and travel guides provide most of the funds he needs for his travels and research.

Dr. Pearsons biggest piece of advice for young scientists, or anyone who hasnt yet found their path, is to actively try and discover their passion. Perhaps it will be a television program, a voice on the radio, a favorite teacher, or a newspaper article that makes someone realize what their passion is, what they want to do in life. The key to being in the right place at the right time is, ultimately, to be in many places, to explore many things. Dr. Pearson found his path in his teenage years, when he left his Minnesota home at age 17 for Los Angeles, where, in between various jobs, he met the people who would lead him into a career in science.

One of the greatest joys in the world, according to Dr. Pearson, is to get paid for something you would do as a hobby. But first, you need to go out and discover what that hobby would be.

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Career Path of David Pearson
  • Author(s): Tim Elser
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: January 7, 2010
  • Date accessed: August 8, 2022
  • Link:

APA Style

Tim Elser. (2010, January 07). Career Path of David Pearson. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved August 8, 2022 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Tim Elser. "Career Path of David Pearson". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 07 January, 2010.

MLA 2017 Style

Tim Elser. "Career Path of David Pearson". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 07 Jan 2010. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 8 Aug 2022.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
David Pearson Arizona State University

Pearson is always searching for the next tiger beetle to be discovered or bird that he has not seen.

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