#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.



1 comment:

  1. Good Luck Linda!! You'll be awesome in Africa. I do hope you get to see some beautiful GW Sharks!


Comments left in this section do not represent the views of the New England Aquarium. Due to the large volume of questions received, staff cannot respond to individual comments but will consider them when planning future blog posts.