Our Director Catherine Macdonald successfully defended her PhD thesis "Wildlife Policy and Conservation: An Interdisciplinary Historical Perspective" this week. Thank you to everyone who came out to the public defense. The whole Field School family is incredibly proud of her! Check out pictures below of her defense, the team celebrating on the Garvin, and our pre-defense shark research day (because how else do you prep for your defense?)!
We are happy to report that the RV Garvin and the Field School crew have all made it through hurricane Irma safely. Thank you to all for your kindness and concern throughout. We are currently trying to secure temporary dockage while our home marina undergoes repairs. All our best to everyone affected by the storm. Stay tuned for more great things to come.
On days 4 and 5 of our recent Elasmobranch Field Research Skills Course we used gillnets and longlines to sample smaller sharks and rays. Our team emphasized techniques for maximizing animal wellbeing using these methods including modified gear and frequent checks. With the help of our students our team worked up and safely released multiple elasmobranchs including a bonnethead shark, multiple juvenile nursesharks, a southern stingray, and several blacktip and blacknose sharks.
Check out highlight pictures from the first few days of our recent Elasmobranch (sharks & rays) Field Research Skills Course. After an introduction to boat and freediving skills students got hands-on using different drumline set ups to fish in and offshore. Our team taught students to construct gear, take measurements and process samples for shark research. We were fortunate to see a juvenile scalloped hammerhead offshore released in excellent condition.
The R/V Garvin and crew just got back to Miami from 10 days in the Bahamas! Researchers from FSU Coastal & Marine Lab (https://www.marinelab.fsu.edu/), Florida International University and NOAA joined us along with Michael Scholl & videographers/photographers from Save Our Seas (www.saveourseas.com) to capture the incredible work being done by this team studying sawfish on the remote west side of Andros.
Check out our new site www.researchvesselgarvin.com to learn more about using the R/V Garvin as a charter vessel or mothership for remote research and filming.
Check out this juvenile nurse shark we spotted in the mangroves during day one of our Tropical Marine Biology and Ecology course! Like many other fish species, small sharks utilize these habitats for protection while they are growing before venturing out into seagrass beds and coral reefs.
Check out highlight pictures from the start of our recent Tropical Marine Biology & Ecology course! We had an amazing trip with many more photos to follow.
We had a fantastic time in the field at the end of May with some of the brilliant female shark scientists of the Gills Club, and an amazing group of middle school girls! Check out the full album from the Gills Club here, and stay tuned for more field pictures from Field School's current Tropical Marine Ecology course!
We are extremely excited to announce our top 3 scholarship recipients from our 2017 Summer Writing Competition. At Field School we are dedicated to expanding opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in marine science. Follow us and sign up for our newsletter to hear about future opportunities.
First place: Elizabeth Bierbach, Nevada
"Dr. Eugenie Clark was my hero. I used to tell everyone I met that I wanted to be an Ichthyologist when I grew up. I don’t think anyone ever actually told me that I couldn’t be a Scientist; but I know that no one ever told me I COULD. 30 years later, my passion for the ocean never changed. So, at age 38, I went back to College.
Through Social Media tools like Twitter, I have connected with many Marine Science Professionals. To my absolute joy, no one said 'it’s too late,' or 'you’re too old.'"
Second place: Eimear Manning, Ireland
"After working in some amazing positions that were related to a variety of fish, but none of them specifically sharks, I’ve realized that I’m not wholly happy. I’ve taken the first big leap and am currently in communication with my academic adviser about beginning a PhD. However, during my Master’s degree I received no training with sharks as I had originally intended to, and feel exceptionally nervous about the prospects of jumping into a PhD without any prior experience of shark handling, fishing, tagging, etc. I know this is the field of research that I want to be in, I just believe that I need some assistance gaining the knowledge that I so desperately need to move further."
Third place: Dylann Turffs, Florida
"I am seeking opportunities to return to working on or near the ocean and I am seeking the same experience I have with reptiles so that I can use my firsthand experience to tell real stories about sharks, their behavior, and their importance to make a positive difference for the oceans and for our managing of fisheries. Fear of sharks is so common that protecting them necessitates working through both fear of them and apathy towards their over harvesting. Part of breaking through that fear is making them less sensational and less mysterious. The more real knowledge that exists, the less room there is for the perception of sharks as horror story villains. I love sharks, and more importantly I value a healthy ocean. I want to use this opportunity to be strong voice for the protection of both, and for showing that in order to protect the oceans, we must protect sharks."
Thank you to our many wonderful entrants--you amused, inspired and engaged us, and we can't wait to see some of you in the field next month. Everyone else, stay tuned for our upcoming scholarship opportunities for winter courses!
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