Role on the expedition:
How I became interested in marine science:
I grew up in South Florida my whole life, and have always lived near the ocean. When I was in fifth grade we went to a marine lab in Key Largo where we snorkeled on the mangroves, coral reefs, and completed a plankton tow. From there I just knew I had to work on the ocean. My love for ecology came out a little bit more through my college experience, but I always knew that I wanted to do marine work.
What methods I use for my research:
I cut blocks of dead coral, from corals that have already died and washed up on shore. I then sent them off for a micro CTscan at Cornell University, just like the CTscan you would get at the hospital. Once they have been scanned, I place them at different reefs throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago, including both the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. They sit out there for a year to let all the aquatic critters accumulate on the coral block and erode it. I then go back to collect the coral blocks, and scan them a second time so that I can quantify how much of the calcium carbonate has been eroded (removed), to get a bioerosion rate.
Why I love science:
I love science because you are basically figuring out the unknown. Every time we are out on the water, we make new discoveries and learn new things. I think that is really cool. I love learning and telling people the things that I have learned, that is what I really love about science.
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