Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcome Marine Science Interns and Waterstart Week 2 campers

Today we welcomed the second week of Waterstart summer campers and the first ever Marine Science interns to the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. Although they are two separate programs, the Marine Science Interns and Waterstart students traveled together today on their summer 2011 maiden voyage into the waters of scientific discovery.

Graham Peigh, one of our staff members involved in the Waterstart program, recounted that, "Today we started the morning with the typical check in and ice breaker games during which we learned that a number of the students go to school in England and the states. This week we have a number of returning students. We hopped in the water for our swim test, but the current was too strong for the float test in the Reach. So we loaded up the boat for Cooper's Island. Everybody got into the water, and we saw a ton of species including Queen Parrotfish, Blue Angel Fish, Stoplight Parrotfish, Squirrelfish, Spanish Hogfish, Sargent Majors, Pompanos, and Breams. During the snorkel, the kids learned about the different types of parrotfish. After that we went to the Pelinaion wreck and snorkeled there. Dready and I snuck down for a quick (failed) attempt at the balloon experiment (a physics module that demonstrates expansion of air under varying pressures)."

The 6 Marine Science interns, who will be with us for the next 3 weeks, also visited both Cooper's Island and the Pelinaion wreck, however, as experienced scuba divers (all but one are Waterstart graduates), they were able dive down into the wreck and explore the Cooper's Island reef more thoroughly. The interns saw various species of coral and aquatic life that they learned to identify in Bermuda Laboratory that morning before hopping on the boat. In the next week, the interns will be visiting and collecting sediment from the Warwick wreck, mapping a cave, studying mangroves, and learning to identify 13 species of coral. Two of the interns will become advanced divers while two others will be working towards their Rescue Diver certification and the rest will be accumulating scientific dives for Science Diver certification.

Khalil, one of the marine science interns, is really looking forward to "exploring the Warwick wreck tomorrow." It will be a long, science- filled week that will prepare the interns for and hopefully, inspire them to pursue, a future full of scientific exploration.

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