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Friday, August 16, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Dr. Jay Kwon


***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Dr. Jay Kwon
Age: 51
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Blue Abyss (aka Navy Blue)
Official Job on Shark Station: Ecological Specialist

Personality Description:
Dr. Jay Kwon is a reserved, yet passionate abyssal ecologist. Observant of others, his quiet nature is often mistaken for introvertedness, when in reality he is more of an ambivert. Scientific research sparks an internal fire in him that lights up his persona. Otherwise, Jay Kwon is an even-tempered individual. A muted sense of adventure drives him to want to discover all he can about the mysterious abyss. Although dedicated to abyssal ecology, Dr. Kwon also dabbles in other fields such as the culinary arts, computer programming, and even the art style of pointillism in his spare time.


Dr. Kwon has the INFJ-A or Advocate personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit https://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality.


***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: Why did you volunteer to go to Shark Station?

Answer: Oh, that is an easy one. I volunteered to go to Shark Station for the opportunity to research the abyssal and bathypelagic. It is an entirely new area of the ocean than where I’ve conducted previous research and I wanted to make comparisons between the two. In addition, having Shark Station already in the abyssal pelagic zone, I was literally where I needed to study. I could leave the station and conduct research with greater ease and frequency than I could in Oceania. This was the opportunity of a lifetime that I couldn’t pass up.


Question 2: What was it like to research the hadalpelagic in contrast to the abyssal pelagic?

Answer: The hadalpelagic and the abyssal pelagic differed only slightly, to be honest. In both environments, the fauna is minimal. In that way, they didn’t differ much at all. However, the amount of pressure and lack of resources differ. Whether on land or in Oceania, the lack of research on the Sirena Deep is immense and any new knowledge that can be obtained is extremely valuable. I was surprised to find coral at the bottom of the sea—literally. The Mariana Trench is the deepest trench in the world, and it is the closest you can get to the Earth’s core without penetrating the crust. I found it to be unique, as I had not found deep-sea coral, well, quite that deep before.


Question 3: When you were at the bottom of the Sirena Deep and you started to feel unwell, what was your first thought?

Answer: [After a long pause to think, Dr. Kwon answers] The pain was all-consuming, so it is hard to think what my first thought was beyond, “this really hurts.” I think I thought that I was going to die and how far away we were from help. Even though we had Dr. Jones, who I have a lot of faith in, Shark Station pales in comparison to the medical technologies we have in Oceania. I began to wonder if I would die on the ocean floor and never be able to finish my research.


Question 4: What did you think about Allie being your designated mentee?

Answer: Allie is a gifted scientist who seems to either doubt herself or be overconfident. She needs to learn a balance between the two. Her sense of discovery is well-developed and she should continue to explore the deep. I have to say that the way she is comfortable in the blackness of the sea is awe-inspiring. It took me a long time to get comfortable being alone in a submersible, let alone something as indefensible as the SCUBAPS. For that, I admire her.


Random Question: What was your favorite food aboard Shark Station?

Answer: My favorite food item had to be the eel-fish wrap. I discovered a new species of eel that grew to at least five feet long based on the specimen I caught. After catching the first specimen, researching it and then releasing it, I caught several others. I began to assume they were populous in the deep and decided to make a meal out of one. I baked it, cut it into strips, and then placed it on pita bread, added lettuce, rolled it up and it was delicious! I even tried it as sushi and it was even better!

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