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Stephen Hilleburg | Stephen Hillenberg | Steve Hillenburg
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At first I drew a few natural sponges -- amorphous shapes, blobs -- which was the correct thing to do biologically as a marine science teacher. Then I drew a square sponge and it looked so funny. I think as far as cartoon language goes he was easier to recognize. He seemed to fit the character type I was looking for. [Washington Post, Oct. 15, 2001]
As a child he loved the films of Jacques Cousteau, so Stephen Hillenburg earned a degree in natural-resource planning and interpretation, with an emphasis in marine resources from Humboldt State University (Arcata, Calif.) in 1984. For three years he taught marine biology at the Orange County Marine Institute (now known as the Orange County Ocean Institute), in Dana Point, California. He had ...