Monday, June 17, 2013

Becca Keenan's Internship, Summer 2013 - Part 1

Hi Folks!

This is the first of 8 blogs I will be doing roughly at weekly intervals during my summer internship with Deep-C. So I am sorry if it is NOT very funny, interesting or even informative - please bear with me; I am sure that it will improve.

I am from Oxford in the UK where I am doing my Masters in Marine Science Policy and Law. I am studying at the University of Southampton, in the National Oceanography Center, on the South Coast of the UK.

While I am here, I will be composing materials for public and policymaker consumption in an attempt to get them interested in the research and positively influence central and local government policies.

This week I have been getting to grips with what I need to undertake. I have been attempting to decide which species will most interest the public and create greater awareness. Easier said than done when you have a Marine Biology Major and simply everything interests you (but I will get there, I am sure!).

On Thursday evening a few of us went down to the Marine Lab to watch a seminar by Dr. Sandra Brooke (who also happened to studied at Southampton, UK) about Deep Sea Corals. This was extremely interesting and great fun, especially as on the way we stopped in at Posey’s, where I was introduced to all the traditional foods of the South. This was a first-time experience for me, even though we have spent a lot of time in Florida on vacation as a family over the years.

Then on Friday we went to see PhD student Brian Wells, who kindly showed us around the Oceanography department, and I even got to run some tests of some sediment samples for PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). I have spent a lot of time in labs over the years, and this was the most relaxed and friendly atmosphere I have ever been in, even being allowed to do work in a dress and flip flops. That wouldn’t be allowed in the UK – we have the most dictatorial and unwieldy Health & Safety regulations that control most aspects of life in the UK (negatively!).

Brian showing me his new toy for analyzing sediment samples.
All and all it has been a great first week - everyone has been so friendly and welcoming.

I am also happy to say that it took until Wednesday till I heard the quote, “Oh my God, you sound like you're from London”, in a very bad mock London cockney accent from a local! In Orlando or Tampa it is usually the first thing said in the local Publix.

Posted By:
Becca Keenan, Florida State University

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