Island Times Blog

Calling All Future Marine Scientists!

August 17th, 2014 by Ally Mater |

Hi everybody, my name is Ally Marter and I’ve been a Sea Trekker for two years. This year, I was lucky enough to participate in the FATHOMS USVI/ BVI program, and my experience was so incredible, I want to share it with you.

One of my favorite aspects of FATHOMS, was that we got to collaborate with, talk to, and learn from real marine researchers. In particular, one marine biologist we worked with was Rachel Welicky. 

 She is a graduate student at Arkansas University, and was stationed at VIERS (Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station) so she could research French grunts and a certain kind of parasitic isopod that attaches to them.

 We met her in the USVI’s while staying at VIERS ourselves, and she gave us a tour of her research operations there. Then, once on the boat in the BVI’s a few days later, we were lucky enough for Rachel to take time out of her busy schedule and stay with us for a couple days. Throughout this time, she educated us even further about her research and trained us so that we could participate in, and help her with her studies. We did this by collecting French grunt surveys on snorkel, counting the number of French grunts we saw with and without parasites. I was thrilled to contribute to real scientific research (that’s not something you get to do every day), and I loved that I got a taste of what’s it’s like to be a marine biologist. I’ve always been interested in a marine science career, and part of the reason I had come to SeaTrek was to see if it’s the right path for me. Helping with Rachel’s research and being on FATHOMS not only confirmed that goal for me, but motivated me to work even harder towards it.

So, if you are interested in being a marine scientist, gaining unforgettable skills and knowledge, and having the time of your life, then SeaTrek’s FATHOMS program is for you! 



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