Sand Dunes…Guided

Hey there,

This week was loong and exciting! I had to work 6 days in a row, all of which had something new to show me. Here are the highlights:

My 4th of July was full of fun and work. I worked in the VC, where I did the estuary tour, took care of my jelly tank, and met new wonderful people! Later on that day, friends of the commune and I steamed some mussels (which I didn’t like much, but at least I tried it)!

There were two estuary tours that were memorable this past week. The first one was for a group of 35 people. It was challenging to keep them all together, but they were loving the tour because when the time came to slurp up some shrimp, I was on FIRE! Did I mention there were 10 kids on the group?! They all wanted to slurp up some shrimp, including the kid that was as tall as the slurp gun! It was very funny and cute (he had a despicable me t-shirt)! The other estuary tour i will never forget was the most recent one I did (this past Saturday). It was for a group of 25 people that came from 17 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES! They were so into it, taking pictures everywhere and of everything, asking questions, and laughing at every lame joke I made. They made my day!

The other thing that made my week awesome was my interaction with one of the visitors. My mentor had me set up an exhibit that was based on plate tectonics, and the findings of the deep sea research. One of the exhibits was a specific gravity experiment, where one can measure the specific gravity of several rocks using a triple-beam balance and a beaker full of water. There was this kid who saw me measuring clay balls (for my Steller Sea Lion curriculum (:s)), and asked me what I was doing. I told him about the exhibit (and not my clay model curriculum), and then we spent 15 minutes doing the experiment together. When we finished, I explained to him how that related to plate tectonics, submersion zones, etc. He said he got it, and I thought it went straight over his head! Well then he walked to where his grandmother was sitting and explained everything I had taught him word for word! I felt so good about what I was doing. That was definitely one of the coolest moments in the VC for me so far.

Although the specific gravity moment was very awesome, what happened Saturday has not been topped yet (and I am not talking about the estuary tour with the international group). We fed Ursula (our resident octopus) her fish and squid in a preserves jar. Apparently we tightened it up way too much, and after an hour of trying, she released it and gave up. two sunflower sea stars (Pycnopodia) started fighting for the dang jar, with little luck opening it. This was the slowest fight I have ever seen, but it was definitely intense, and I felt like I had to do something about it. I wanted to give Ursula the food she deserved, so with the authorization of Dr. Tim (our veterinarian), I put on my orange shoulder length gloves, broke the fight apart, and fed Ursula! I could tell she was happy she ate, and I was proud of myself for saving the day!

Apart from working at the VC, I went crabbing (no luck), and sandboarding with my sea grant friends! Videos to come!

This week, I will finish designing my exhibit for the Steller Sea Lion Life History Transmitter, and prepare for the second half of my internship!

See y’all soon!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Diego Martin-Perez by Diego. Bookmark the permalink.

About Diego

I am from Puerto Rico, but just graduated in Biological Sciences from the University of Louisiana @ Lafayette (ULL). I am very excited to work at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) Visitor Center (VC) for the Summer, giving presentations to people and kids, tours, estuary walks, and whatever else needs to be done!

2 thoughts on “Sand Dunes…Guided

  1. Wow – sounds like a week full of outreach, education, and research – you are living the Oregon Sea Grant dream!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.