Clearly I am not too good at this blogging thing. But a promise is a promise and I promised I'd keep people informed of my life below the sea.
Now, where to begin. I work at United Divers now. It is a great job and I am learning all about scuba gear/ scuba. Its nice to know whats going on with gear that I entrust my life with. Turns out there is a lot to know (go figure) but I am slowly getting it. I can fill tanks like a pro and can find a mask that fits you like a glove. So if you wanna buy a scuba mask, this girl is your girl! They are also letting me take a dry suit class for free! I am getting certified next weekend and then can start diving again! Thank God because this fishy has been out of the water for far too long! I def prefer wetsuit but knowing how to dry suit dive is quite useful: especially for New England!
So yay scuba dubas!
But, on to the stuff that you are probably more interested in, the Phoenix Islands. WELL, I am so stoked because I am actually going to do things that will directly help the islands! I have three projects that will all be beneficial. The first is to draw together clips for a professor who is working with U of Miami to make a video about how coral reefs are a network all interlinked. Therefore I am using PIPA videos of before, during, and after the bleaching. If it actually happens, it will be shown to a large audience and will raise further awareness of PIPA, and coral reef sustainability in general!
Second, Les gave me the project to look at the PIPA video data from 2000, 2002, and 2009 to compare the sites and how they changed. I am using the videos to compare the same islands as well as dive spots to draw conclusions. This will basically present a "what does this all mean" and could possibly be a paper! So far, the data from 2000 is as pristine as I have ever seen a reef to be. There is an almost perfect balance of predators to smaller fish, as well as thriving coral. While some bleaching is present, it is less than 10% of the total coverage. I am still working on the 2000 data so I do not know 2002 but I can predict that it will be a sad sight: a ghost town.
However, the final project is the one that is the most exciting. After walking from NEU to Harvard and back today, I was wiped out and passed out. I woke up to a few e-mails and was instantly energized: Randi wrote to me with the best project ever. She has been collaborating with a scientist at Woods Hole to work on possible funding for the next PIPA trip. She needs videos covering a few different subject and these videos will be used to raise funds for the upcoming trips. I am in charge of making the videos and am going to do my best to find THE best footage I can. Isn't it crazy: my work could be used to send scientists to the Phoenix Islands in order to help conserve corals.
Yeah, I basically adore my job. :)