This spring Colie DeLong and Casey Michalowski, both Geology majors at Kutztown University, attended the Northeastern Geological Society of America conference to present on a collaborative research project that they began working on in CBFS's Marine Geology course last summer. Over the past few months, the students worked alongside Dr. Oakley to investigate Holocene sedimentation in the Chincoteague Bay through analyzing vibracore and CHIRP Sonar sub-bottom data. After their presentation at GSA, Colie notes that she, "received a lot of positive feedback. Now that I have a little bit of experience sharing research, I feel more comfortable with what I'm doing." Both Colie and Casey agree that the Marine Geology course opened doors for them to become research assistants, which is the case for many of the field-based courses that CBFS offers each summer. For Colie, not only did the course help her to pursue research but to also obtain a minor in Marine Science - she plans to take two more courses at CBFS this summer! She recommends courses at the Field Station because, "you get a lot of experience with equipment and field work... It also shows that you have a dynamic learning experience and it will look good on a resume." Casey remembers one of her favorite experiences from last summer's Marine Geology course: "We went to Assateague Island to dig holes in order to see how deep the water table was. By the end of this, I was in an eight-foot hold dissing with a horseshoe crab!"
When we visited Millersville University in October 2014, Dr. Kumar, Professor of Ocean Sciences & Coastal Studies, was hard at work on a project that was aimed to launch this summer. This past weekend he joined us aboard the RV Flatfish along with Dr. McCade, Professor of Applied Engineering, Safety, & Technology, and the Millersville Submersible Research Team to test out their pet project: Dora. Dora is an underwater ROV that will be used to help map and record benthic data in the Chincoteague Bay. The mini-submarine is a VideoRay Pro4 with an advanced commercial sonar system mounted on back to scan the sea floor to create digital models for detailed analysis. She's also equipped with a high-definition GoPro camera to capture video of marine life in their natural habitat.
This was the first time that the team was able to test Dora's capabilities in open water, as she's previously been tested in large swimming pools close to the Millersville campus. Overall, the team deemed the trail a success, with some minor adjustments that they plan to make in the coming weeks. Dora will be used during the Field Methods in Oceanography course this summer.
Chincoteague Bay Field Station hosted its annual Alternative Spring Break this past weekend. More than 100 students from East Stroudsburg, Millersville, Kutztown, Shippensburg, Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and West Chester Universities joined forces to tackle projects ranging from painting and equipment repair, to trash clean-up and invasive species removal. It was an incredibly successful weekend and all projects were accomplished!
In addition to the traditional ASB weekend, we hosted two special events during the weekend to enhance the experience. On Sunday there was a panel discussion called "Headwaters to Oceans: Water Resources & the Eastern Shore" during which three local experts presented on the connections between the Eastern Shore residents and their water resources. Panelists included Jay Ford, the Eastern ShoreKeeper, Randy Birch, local waterman, and Tim Rapine of Ballard Fish & Oyster Company (who is also an alum of ESU/CBFS!). This event was sponsored by Shippensburg University and Outdoor Nation. On Monday morning we held a resume and cover letter workshop called "Presenting Yourself." CBFS staff members worked with students to identify strengths and weaknesses in resumes, cover letters, and interviews, in order to make students more competitive for jobs and graduate school.
For the second year in a row, CBFS held an Instagram Photo Contest for the most creative image of the weekend. Students used the hashtag #cbfieldstation and #socialgood on both Instagram and Twitter to document their experiences at the Field Station. The image capturing extended beyond the volunteer-based activities and permeated into after hours activities including trips to the Island Creamery, early morning birding at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and more. By the end of the weekend we collected more than 200 photographs. Here's a quick sampling of just a few of them:
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