The Visitor Center has four interns working with us in the exhibits and interpreting with the public this summer. We’ll be bringing you updates and occasional posts from them. Meet our first: Diana Roman, Westminster, MD
Diana just graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. She earned a B.A. in Biology with an emphasis in ecology and a minor in Art History (the only person in her graduating class to earn any sort of a minor, she was told). For her degree, she took classes in limnology and the ecology of Maryland plants, studied and researched for a semester in Australia, and wrote a senior thesis in neuroscience. Diana came to OSU for the summer to try her hand at a marine education job, as she pins down what she would like to study in graduate school. “I know a lot more about what I don’t want to do at this point, than exactly what I want to do.”
After the first week, she’s surprised at how tired she is, but also at how different visitor backgrounds are. She’s encountered visitors who live on the coast who are very familiar with the tides, and people from Utah, for example, who have never encountered the types of marine creatures found in the ocean. “It makes me wonder about what kids are learning in landlocked states if they can’t apply it,” Diana says, if their ocean science is not connected to the local waterways.
This summer, she’s most looking forward to trying out a 40-hour-a-week job as well as her own project. She and two of our other interns will be investigating visitor use of the wave tanks, and she’s hoping to concentrate on the erosion/near-shore tank. She’s already noticed a difference in erosion mitigation on the West Coast vs. the Chesapeake Bay. Here, riprap, aka “dynamic revetment,” is widely used, designed to absorb wave energy better as the pieces bounce up and down with waves. On the Chesapeake Bay, however, erosion abatement is more frequently done with natural materials.
She’s already diving in to life at the Visitor Center. As the interns “opened” for the first time this morning, turning on exhibits and lights and checking that things are working, she said she already saved the shrimp tank from overflowing. She also hosted her first West-Coast estuary walk, where visitors were surprised it was her first.
Follow the blog to see how her wave tank project develops over the summer.