This first week at the Hatfield Marine Science Center has been incredible. Being a surfer and a wildlife management student residing in Portland, OR, I’ve of course always dreamed of living on the coast so arrival day at HMSC was a truly surreal moment. Last month I graduated from Mt. Hood Community College with an Associates of Applied Science Degree in their Natural Resources Technologies Program as a Wildlife Technician. The next step in my educational career is to continue on and do the Fisheries & Wildlife program at Oregon State. Conveniently enough this internship will be my first official class at OSU! This summer I will be working as a student intern for Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife on their shellfish project. My supervisors on the shellfish project are Dr. Steve Rumrill, Mitch Vance, and Justin Ainsworth. I will be aiding in the creative process of generating an extended survey questionnaire for shellfishers, as well as implementing the survey in the field. The extended survey’s purpose is to seek information and input from sport clammers and crabbers about their current harvesting practices and reasons why they first became interested in collecting clams and crabs in Oregon’s bays and estuaries. The information collected from the survey will be valuable for improving outreach activities, i.e shellfish clinics, youtube videos, and interpretive signage.
This first week has been a lot to digest. Already they have me conducting catch and effort surveys with shellfishers all over Yaquina Bay, Waldport, and Lincoln City. For being a relatively shy person I initially was nervous about approaching a complete stranger and interviewing them, but with a little motivation and encouragement I’ve realized conducting the interviews are nothing to lose sleep over. I am very much excited to continue learning new things everyday, which I think will be the case, and to observe the progress of the ODFW shellfish project over the next seven weeks!