Shannon Point Marine Center selected as site for scientific diving internship
Shannon Point Marine Center staff assisted in the 2008 recovery of bones from a juvenile fin whale that had been previously placed on the ocean floor at a site off of San Juan Island. Here, the cranium of the juvenile fin whale is brought ashore for study. Photo courtesy Nathan Schwarck
The American Academy of Underwater Sciences and the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society has selected Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center as the host site for their scientific diving internship for summer 2011.
The selection was made from AAUS organizational member proposals submitted to the joint AAUS/OWUSS committee.
“The intern will participate in scientific research using diving as a tool and assist with WWU’s scientific diving program’s management and field operations during a three-month stay at Shannon Point,” said Nathan Schwarck, scientific diving safety officer at Western.
The intern will be joining SPMC’s research team that is conducting restoration and out-planting work with the threatened native Pinto abalone. Some of the diving will involve surveying growth and survivorship of previously out-planted abalone at various study sites. The initial out-plant sites were selected in 2009 by a collaboration among WWU, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, University of Washington, and Baywater Inc.
The intern is being selected by the sponsoring organizations. They will be announcing the person's name soon.
Shannon Point marine scientist Paul Dinnel will serve as the intern’s academic advisor. The intern will work alongside other students participating in Shannon Point’s summer programs, including the National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Pacific Partnership. The intern will also have an opportunity to attend and present their experience at the OWUSS’s meeting in New York City.
According to Schwarck, scientific diving is an increasingly important activity at the marine center, supporting underwater research and being used more frequently as an efficient and non-destructive method of collecting organisms for on-shore studies. SPMC oversees all underwater activities at WWU.