Week 3:
Getting used to the water

Cornell Fellow in Ocean Research

African Campus | Mossel Bay, South Africa

February 23, 2019

This past week has been similar to the last two weeks. The other interns and I have gone on chum and sea fishing trips, as well as preforming intertidal surveys. We have all become comfortable with the procedures of the shifts and we are having fun working together. I have also gotten to work with ROVs or Remotely Operated Vehicles. These are similar to drones, but they are used underwater instead. I was also able to help start a new project that looks at micro-plastics in the ocean and the wide variety that can be found. The skills that I’ve learned at Cornell have helped with my time here in South Africa. I have used skills that I learned in other research projects that I was able to do at Cornell, such as following procedures and coming up with new procedures that are easy to follow.

A lesser sand shark or guitar shark that I had caught. We measured, tagged, and obtained a genetic sample before we released it back into the ocean.

This weeks class was about how drones and ROVs can be used in marine biology and conservation. We also had a practical part of the lesson were we got fly a drone and pilot the ROV. I’m excited to learn more about these and how to pilot them over the next five weeks. We also had a debate on off shore oil drilling and its effects economically and socially. While I had some debating skills, this helped reinforce and strengthen them.┬áThe skills that I’ve learned during the last three weeks will help separate myself from other perspective employees. With my training in ROVs to being able to see and minimize the stress of sharks, I can see myself working in a lot of different fields.

Phoebe and I working with the ROV before putting it into the water for a survey. It has a range of about 20 meters.

I have been pushing myself to try different experiences while I’ve been at Oceans Research. From trying new foods to hanging out with the interns who are much different from myself. I’m glad I am doing do this because my time here has been amazing so far. I’m going to be sad to see most of the interns leaving next week, but I’m also excited to meet the new interns that will be arriving next month. Working with the different field specialist has been a great opportunity, since they each have their own area of expertise. This opportunity has been one the best experiences I’ve had and I honestly don’t want it to stop.

Camden Grundeman '19

Camden is an environmental studies major and biology minor from Naples, Florida.