Sunday, August 28, 2011

SCUBA Down Under

After having too much fun and excitement in Alaska I am now back home in good ole Chicago.  I've been back for a few weeks now and it's been very nice to decompress for a while, play a little disc golf and catch up on some movies.  I have also been interviewing for a host of new jobs.  A few days ago I got word back from one informing me that I have a new position to fill with Florida International University. 

Now for the exciting part... I will be going to Shark Bay, Australia and working on The Shark Bay Ecosystem Research Project.  Shark Bay is around 500 miles north of Perth on the west coast of Australia. Thats the side without the great barrier reef... bummer, but it is also home to one of the most complete undisturbed seagrass ecosystems and the world's largest Dugong population.  They have been working on a comprehensive study of this ecosystem for the last 12 years and now I get to throw my two cents in with it.

My position as a field assistant will entail catching sea turtles for measurements, building underwater exclosures to experiment on the grazing effects of dugongs, and anything else they need done.  As far as I can tell this may be anything from catching sharks to performing SCUBA based observations.

Australia will be amazing, I have no doubt.  The two top places on earth that I have always wanted to go to are New Zealand and Australia.  Now someone has hired me to actually go and work with them in Australia. Even the work will be something I have dreamed of doing for years.  It doesn't get better than that.  They will also be paying for my American Academy of Underwater Sciences diver certification.  This is a class designed for biological research that requires SCUBA. It is no joke, unlike some other scuba certification classes, and I will be spending three weeks in Miami working on it before I head down under.

Right now I am still working out all the details, signing all the papers and getting my stuff together but soon enough I will be moving west, moving south and living in an eternal summer.

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