Monday, 20 June 2016

TTFN

I want to start off my not so goodbye post by saying that I went into this trip with high expectations, but yet very few ideas on what to actually expect. Professionally and scientifically, I became familiar and eventually comfortable with crucial scientific understanding on how marine ecosystems function. I performed research with 14 different instruments, some of which we used in multiple locations (i.e YSI) and another 12 that were introduced and were instructed on how to use. That's an outstanding total of 26 instruments that I can now say I am familiar with. I was introduced to almost 7 different marine habitats that are home to an extensive variety of marine species. Some specific and some not so specific. I met some incredible instructors and graduate students that, without ever meeting, I would still be completely clueless as to how the real world of research actually functions. I got to snorkel with knowledgeable and experienced instructors through every type of coral reef in the Florida Keys. I traveled to 5 different cities in 5 weeks and still kicked booty every step of the way because I found out with every day that passed, my passion become stronger and stronger for my love of the water. What other undergraduate in a Marine Biology major can say that?! And I can tell you, the ones that  can say that are some of the best and most outstanding individuals I have ever met. These are things that you can never learn through a textbook, but only by getting out there and doing it yourself and making a difference along the way. This journey, to say the least, was an experience that I will never forget for as long as I live. When I graduate and begin my own research in the field, I will always remember the first time I used a secchi dish, a core sampler and a siene net and recall back to the time I was on my FIO trip. I will remember how much I laughed with everyone while doing it and how a smile was always on my face the entire time. This unique and one of a kind experience is something that cannot be truly expressed through words, but only through memories. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible, and thank you to my new nerd family who made this trip memorable.



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