Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tabby Keefer's First Week PRIME Experience

(Myself in front of ODFW's vessel)
I would like to start off by introducing myself. My name is Tabitha (Tabby) Keefer. I am from the central Oregon coast, and science is the biggest romance in my life. Here is some background information about me that has influenced the decisions and paths I have made for myself: I have been a volunteer at the Oregon Coast Aquarium for six years, and have a healthy obsession for the West Coast and ocean advocacy. For example, I have been working with the Aquarium for the past year to develop an ocean acidification (the decalcification of marine organisms due to human actions) mobile exhibit intended for most audiences.

Moving forward, I applied for the PRIME program for several reasons. I got an e-mail from my community college one day informing me about possible opportunities as a Hatfield intern. A few phone calls and e-mails later, Coral and Itchung had me hooked on the idea of an internship. Before I knew it I was accepted into the program. For me, it was a no brainer to apply.

I graduated from Oregon Coast Community College with my two-year transfer degree this last Spring. I am going to attend Oregon State University in the fall as a Junior, and my major [as of right now] is Environmental Sciences. As I mentioned before, ocean education is my primary focus at this point in my life.

I am working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife currently, so far this week I have received a dash of variety in my training. My mentors are Dr. Brittany Huntington and Stacy Galleher; these wonderful ladies have made me feel more than welcome upon my arrival. The department of ODFW I’m working with is focusing on Marine Reserves and Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s), I will explain more about this endeavor as the weeks progress and my understanding blooms. We are also working with sea star data, from before and during Sea Star Wasting, I will jump into more detail in the coming weeks.

(Stacy is on the left, and Neal is on the right; both women are part of ODFW -- I will discuss what's going on in this picture next week)

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