ECHO's Mission is to Educate and Delight our guests on the Ecology, Culture, History and Opportunities for Stewardship of the Lake Champ...

ECHO Volunteer Spotlight- Kate Meyer

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ECHO's Mission is to Educate and Delight our guests on the Ecology, Culture, History and Opportunities for Stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. We hope this mission has an impact on our daily guests as well as our Volunteers, Interns and Teen Leadership (E-Team) members who spend time at ECHO building lifelong personal and professional skills. 

Kate Meyer in the Bahamas
Thus, we are always thrilled to hear from past volunteers and interns about their professional development milestones and future career plans. Kate Meyer was a volunteer in the Lake Champlain Basin Resource Room at ECHO until she got an invitation to volunteer at the Bimini Biological Field Station's Shark Lab in the Bahamas. This was a opportunity of a life-time for Kate.  She spent the month of August to studying sharks and we are now thrilled to share her story and pictures here.
Kate with juvenile nurse shark



"Dear ECHO, I had the absolute time of my life at the field station in the Bahamas. I really think that marine biology field work is where my passion lies, and I was smiling every day I was out there! No two days were the same because the volunteers really just helped out with whatever field work the PhD candidates needed, or equipment maintenance required by the lab. We were sometimes out for 9-hour days in the boats tracking sharks that had been equipped with acoustic tags (we could hear the signal using a hydrophone apparatus underwater) or collecting underwater receivers for shark movement data. Everything we did underwater was by free-diving, so I got really good at holding my breath for a long time and getting down really deep to clean/replace receivers, etc. 
Kate doing shark surgery

I learned shark handling skills, and during my last week was trained to go shark wrangling-- basically collecting small sharks from under ledges on the reef to be used for research. No shark bites to speak of, but a LOT of mosquito bites! The bugs were really brutal there during the summer.

It was hard to choose just a few pictures, but here are a few of my favorites! This picture (on left) is from a shark surgery I helped out with-implanting the acoustic tags I was talking about. The others are from various days of research or exploring the island on days we had off. The one at night is us doing a "work up" on a blacktop shark we caught on a longline, so we basically take a bunch of measurements on it, check it for any tags, and then re-release it. This was the first shark I got to tag myself!  
Kate with Blacktop shark on longline

Enjoy, and have a great fall! I'm sure I will see you all soon!"

Kate Meyer is from Williston, Vermont and returned to UC Berkeley this fall to finish up her senior year studying biology. Thanks to Kate and all of ECHO's volunteers and interns who help us carry out our mission every day! 

Maybe your passion will be found at ECHO? If you are interested in volunteering or interning at ECHO, please go to our website link at: http://www.echovermont.org/getinvolved/volunteer-intern.html






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