#46: Dive Buddies - Linda

My name is Linda. I am a senior at Northeastern University and just finished up a spring diving internship for the Giant Ocean Tank after nearly two years of volunteering and co-oping for the New England Aquarium in the Penguin and Dive departments. I fell in love with marine biology as a kid and became determined to one day get involved in aquarium husbandry.

As an intern I've been able to do some incredible things: helping with freshwater stingray dips, transporting new fish from collecting trips to their galleries, building a new feeding bucket for our Kemps ridley sea turtle Scute, and best of all getting to feed fish and the stingrays on the 2:30 dive.

Naturally an internship involves a great amount of work along with the fun, it takes a lot of cleaning to keep everything running both in the tank and behind the scenes. If I'm not on the platform feeding Myrtle or the surface fish you'll find me in the kitchen cleaning our food prep stations or in the dive room helping with the upkeep of our changing area. Many different galleries use the dive food room and gear area for work in their own exhibits so cleaning is an ongoing project, perfect for interns with a passion for sparkling counters!

Now that my session has come to a close and the dive department begins to train the summer interns, I'm taking a short hiatus from the New England Aquarium to intern at the Two Oceans Aquarium of Cape Town, South Africa. During the months of July and August (their winter!) I will be working in one of only two aquariums in the world to have a live kelp forest exhibit, as well as many other fascinating exhibits including a colony of African penguins (native to South Africa and Namibia) and both an Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean exhibit displaying the diversity of marine life to be found on the coasts of this beautiful country.

African Penguin

South Africa is bordered by two distinct currents, the Agulhas on the east and the Benguela on the West, both transporting vast amounts of vital nutrients to a wide array of sea life along the African Coast. These names may sound familiar to you seeing as we have two African penguins at the Aquarium named after these currents. I look forward to visiting many places our colony is named after, such as the cape of Goodhope, Boulders Beach, Dassen and Robben islands and Saldanha bay!

In addition to my internship in the aquarium, I also hope to complete a personal dive in the area to experience first hand an infamous local: the white shark, a fish that has attained a rather unfair reputation around the world and actually plays an irreplaceable role in the food chain.

I anticipate many adventures to come from this trip and am so grateful to the staff of both the New England Aquarium and the Two Oceans aquarium for helping me make this final co-op of my undergraduate career a reality.




#45: Dive Buddies - Meet Enrique

Hello everyone, my name is Enrique Mauser, I am from Mexico City and a student at Northeastern University where I major in environmental science with a concentration in wildlife studies and a minor in biology. Currently I am in the midst of finishing my first Co-op semester here at the New England Aquarium which I am not looking forward to at all. As my last few weeks of working as a diver in the Giant Ocean Tank (GOT) rapidly approach, I look back and realize a few things.

Having the opportunity to work in the field that I am passionate about is great. This is a dream job for me, and it should be for everyone. I mean come on! I get to hand feed 8-foot-long sharks, 550-lb. turtles, stingrays so big that I could use as bed sheets, and eels with razor sharp teeth, among another 600 fish or so.

The people I work with are a huge plus in my experience here since they are not only my co-workers but also my friends. There are all sorts of personalities here at the Aquarium which makes for a great working environment since it never gets boring.

I also got to share my experience here with my family who came up from both Mexico and Argentina. My mom, being scuba certified, was able to come into the G.O.T with me which was awesome because going in there is so unique, it was nice sharing that with her.

I have learned so much about what interests me here at the Aquarium and I wouldn't have wanted to do anything else with my co-op time. Class is a great way to learn new things but there is nothing like having hands on experience to really get a feel for what life after college will be like. I will miss working around such great people and all the animals that reside in the GOT, but this is not the end of my New England Aquarium days.