Today is much different from the
usual. The local news in Savannah (WTOC), as well as congressional
aides from the offices of Jack Kingston (U.S. House of
Representative), Johnny Isakson and Saxby Cambliss (U.S.
Senate), are visiting the R/V Nancy Foster to catch a
glimpse of our work here in GRNMS. Upon arrival, Greg
debriefs the TV and congressional folks about the work
on the ship. Additionally, Matt, Kate, and Athan provide
a more detailed overview of their research. The media
will interview each one in more depth throughout the day.
These conversations will provide the media and politicians
an opportunity to interact with the scientists, and vice
Most of the science staff gets
a much deserved break from surveying today because of
our guests’ arrival. However, Athan and his crew
(which includes me) deploy and retrieve one trap to give
the visitors a sense of the surveying techniques involved
in the fish survey. Once on deck, the team went straight
to work as repeated in the last six days. Sea bass and
porgy were loaded in the trap, as well as a lone triggerfish.
We have not collected a triggerfish before, so the team
was excited about the catch.
Tomorrow, the Board of Directors
of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will rendezvous
with the Nancy Foster. It is important that we schedule
each survey while keeping our guests in mind. Greg does
not want to budget our schedule too tightly; however,
he wants to maximize the time we have. There are many
people congregated in the Dry Lab as Greg tries to develop
tomorrow’s schedule. We will have a busy day deploying
the divers, fish traps, as well as run transects to collect
acoustic data…while showing the CCA folks the ropes.
It sounds like another great day in GRNMS!
I will write more tomorrow.
Reef National Marine Sanctuary:
Daily Connections to Scientific Inquiry & Nature of
Communication of research among
people outside of scientific and educational communities,
such as the policy makers as well as the general public,
is also essential. A recent survey indicates that 90%
of Americans are illiterate about coastal and ocean science.
For this reason, having the congressional aides and the
local television crew out to the sanctuary helps bridge
the gap among these populations. As our society becomes
more scientifically and technologically advanced, so too
must our population’s understanding.