The mission of SCUBAnauts International is to educate teens in the marine sciences, enabling them to make a positive impact on the environment and empowering them to become tomorrow’s leaders.
This past year has been a phenomenal experience in the organization, and I feel honored to be a member. The scholarship program provided me with most of the gear, and all of the training I need. I’ve felt overwhelmed at times, but that’s just because I’m still new to this whole diving thing. Overall I would say that SCUBAnauts has had a phenomenal impact on my life, and I can’t wait to continue my journey.
I was assigned to look after two tanks that had two to three pieces of coral in them. After a couple of hours, a different tank that I was not watching over started to spawn while my coral never started to set. Setting is the process where the coral start to create their gamete bundles.
My favorite part of the trip, however, was sitting in on a hearing of an environmental committee in congress. As an individual who is interested in a career in politics, the debate was extremely interesting. It was fascinating to see how the vastly different agendas of the Republican and Democratic parties interacted on environmental issues.
When I woke up the morning of the oil rig dive, I wasn’t expecting much. It’s an oil rig, not a reef, it should be pretty dead under the waves right? Wrong. Soon after my giant stride into the water, I was shocked to see the vast expanse beneath me. This was my first...
“I have begun to associate the Keys as a place of rejuvenation where I can focus on the most important things to me. This is the place where I feel like I can have a direct positive impact on the world through diving in the ocean and conducting our scientific missions.”
In November, a group of ten nauts traveled from around Florida to Summerland Key for four days of diving-- or at least of adventures! For our first day in the Keys, we spent the morning studying organism identifications. We were divided into two groups, one group did...
Nauts from the North Carolina Chapter traveled to the Florida Keys to directly tackle two of these in conjunction with the Florida National Park Service in Biscayne Bay National Park. These advanced Nauts removed hundreds of pounds of trash from the reefs as well as dozens of invasive lionfish AND still found time to blog about it!
Have you ever wondered what fantastic secrets lie beneath the surface of the water? I have! SCUBAnauts is a great place to discover some of the answers! With each trip and experience, more of the underwater world is uncovered for me.
Walking around on the seafloor like a freshly minted astronaut. The bubbles from my regulator reminiscent of a peaceful fountain in a meditation room.
Gabe and Sierra hang newly cut coral fragments in the Mote coral nursery. They will later be outplanted to a local reef. Coming eye to eye with a hogfish as I fragmented and hung corals- both of us in awe of one another. All these unbelievably unique experiences gifted to us on our trip to the Florida Keys over a weekend in September.
Once I found a patch, I would lower myself to hover directly over the bottom, which was many feet deep of silt, and try to catch the cyanobacteria in the bag. The team at Thunder Bay has tried many collection methods over the years, but the ziplock is simplest and has produced the best, usable results. The best description I heard was it being like trying to scoop whipped cream off pudding into a plastic bag. Each team did six or seven bags to have a total of fourteen collections.
“…dive buddy went off on our own and studied the fish in places where there were not many divers. Suddenly, I saw a shape moving from behind my dive buddy. As it came closer, I realized it was a sandbar shark! I shook my buddy’s arm…”