My name is Catherine Courtier and I have recently graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Marine Biology. During my time as an undergraduate I was not only fortunate enough to work in the labs of some truly inspiring professors, but got the chance to take part in field study classes that enabled me to get a taste of what exactly it was that I was spending my undergraduate career working towards. Now I am one of six lucky Summer Scholars chosen by Oregon Sea Grant to work with Wild Rivers Coast Alliance. My main focus has always been on marine organisms, (specifically invertebrates) however I have recently become interested in the issues that surround coastal conservation, something I hope to learn more about through WRCA.
I was born and raised in Southern California, so you could definitely classify me as a sun, sand, and sandals type of girl. So naturally when I found out that the town of Bandon Oregon (where I will be spending the next ten weeks of my life) typically reaches a summer high of 68° I was a bit concerned. However, when I arrived in this cozy coastal town my worries seemed to disappear as I caught glimpses of the landscape on my way down the 101.
My first stop in Bandon was at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, and home of the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, where I had lunch with my mentors Marie Simonds and Jim Seeley while overlooking the Bandon Reserve Course. Aside from its spectacular beauty, this course is of particular interest because all its proceeds go to funding Wild Rivers Coast Alliance.
Now that I am all settled in, I’ve had some time to begin exploring Oregon’s South Coast. Despite the questionable weekend weather and encroaching storm, I ventured out to the beach and was rewarded with mild temperatures and amazing tide pooling! In addition to the vibrant anemones and adorable sea stars, I caught a glimpse of some sunning sea lions and quite a bit of what I believe to be an orange sea sponge washed up on the beach.
Sadly the storm eventually caught up with me, so my plans to explore the various hiking and biking trails Bandon has to offer will have to wait till next weekend! While I’m not by any means an expert cyclist, I hope to improve my riding over the course of this summer so I can help with the final stages of a new coastal scenic bike pathway. Tomorrow marks week two of this amazing experience and I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for me!