Endless Oppor”TUNA’ties

Week three is officially over and I can very confidently say that this has been my favorite week of working for the Marine Reserves Program, hands down. The week consisted of three days of field work and stability and deadlines for some of the goals that I want to achieve while here in Newport.

As I talked about the previous week in my blog post, I was able to go out SMURFing on Monday morning. This turned out to be a lot of fun even though we had an early wake up. During this excursion, my job was to replace each of these larval recruitment nets (SMURFS as they call them), and bring the ones that were already deployed back in to sample. When the nets come up on the boat, they water is dumped on them and they are shaken to attempt to retrieve juvenile fish from them. From there the fish are measured and counted. It is a way of monitoring the recruitment of fish in the marine reserves and the comparison areas. There were a total of eight SMURFS to retrieve and replace, four in the comparison area (Cape Foulweather) and one in the Otter Rock Marine Reserve. We were done by ten in the morning and the process is very straight forward so it didn’t take long.

The week continued to get better and on Tuesday, Sarah (the other Marine Reserves intern , Christian (our supervisor) and I were able to go to the aquarium and snorkel in the tanks. I cannot get over how amazing this was and the fact that as a kid this was my lifelong dream whenever I went to the aquarium….besides meeting Keiko.  For the most part, our reasoning for going was to help us identify the rockfish species that live off the coast so when we score videos, we will be more confident in the fish we are identifying. I also think they just wanted us to have some fun. :)


But wait, there’s more. Thursday we went sea star sampling at Otter Rock Marine Reserve! During this time, we looked for sea stars in the intertidal area of the reserve and categorized them as either healthy or diseased with sea star wasting disease. The amount of sea stars in the area has decreased dramatically due to this, yet during the time monitoring, we found one that could be categorized with the disease. In the long run, I realize that office work will be a big part of the job as well, but for now, I am really enjoying being able to go out in the field so much!


One of the best things that I enjoy about this job is the fact that on Wednesdays they have soccer! For an hour during lunch for the past two weeks, I’ve gotten to play pick up outside on the lawn by the dorms. It’s been fun and definitely a good way to get out of the office for a bit, plus I LOVE playing soccer. The only downer is a lot of the World Cup woman’s soccer matches have been at four so I haven’t been able to watch them as much as I’d like. Although right now I am currently watching the final and the US is doing work. Hopefully when I write next week I will be able to say that I watched a US win!



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