Week 6:
Lessons and New Skills

Cornell Fellow in Ocean Research

African Campus | Mossel Bay, South Africa

March 21, 2019

This blog will be similar to week 5, but will focus on what I’ve learned in the various classes Oceans Research has provided. We have a class or two every week and they range from emerging technologies to how to talk about science and debates.

The ROV drying after a shift of underwater transects.

I’ve talked about some of this in earlier blogs, but I want to go in depth. Sasha, the head field specialist, taught us about ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) and drones. ROVs are unmanned vehicles that can move through the water. There are two kinds of ROVs, piloted and non-piloted. The non-piloted ROVs can run on their own and collect data continuously. They can collect data on sea temperature, salinity, and other water quality tests. Piloted ROVs can be used in a number of ways. The larger ROVs can be used to fix underwater structures and pipes without putting people in harms way. Smaller ROVs can be used in similar ways, but mostly for research. Oceans Research has a small model of ROV called a Trident, we use it to count the biodiversity of fish in different off shore environments. Drones also unmanned vehicles and come piloted and non-piloted versions. The larger models of both are mainly for military use, but the smaller models can be used by anyone. Scientist and wildlife managers can use drones to observe protected animals and environments from a safe distance, find areas of concern, and even stop poachers.

Ester teaching a class on social media and how to use it for science.

There are a number of skills that I’ve learned from these lesson as well. These range from implanting trackers into sharks and sewing the skin back together to debating about scientific topics. Both of these skills will help me in my future career in conservation. Even if I don’t end up working with sharks, being able to apply trackers with minimal stress to an animal is a great skill to possess in the conservation field. Being able to defend your work and your ideas in a formal setting is a great way to understand your own and other peoples ideas. We’ve also learned how to share our work with the general public and other professionals through social media. Both of these skills can help me spread awareness for projects that I am a part of and spreading the message of conservation.

With these different skills, I feel like I can more easily earn a job in marine conservation. Being able to utilize new technologies and talking to people are good skills. During the last few weeks, I’ve been able to help with a few different outreach programs that Oceans Research has helped with and put together.

Camden Grundeman '19

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