Science for Everyone

Paperwork - the not-so-fun side of research...

 Phoebe and I prior to one of our dives on the Muscle Ridge closed area in the fall of 2013.

Phoebe and I prior to one of our dives on the Muscle Ridge closed area in the fall of 2013.

This month (June 2014), we have been making incremental progress towards getting into the field for the second year survey effort for the Lower Muscle Ridge scallop closed area. Basically, overcoming barriers to collaborative research takes time. Some organizations, like the Maine Department of Marine Resources and the University of Maine already have systems in place to allow their divers to do field work off of commercial fishing vessels while, others have not yet ventured into that realm. I am in the process of putting those systems in place for the Hurricane Island Foundation so our staff will be able to conduct research dives from commercial fishing vessels as well as our own. Doing so can take some time, but it's all in the name of having a safe SCUBA diving operation which is of the utmost importance if we want to continue doing research-related diving in the future. This process involves creating documents that outline the potential risks of participating in field work on a boat and underwater, as well as identifying ways we plan to mitigate those risks by being prepared with safety equipment and identifying the closest medical facilities to our field site. We are also developing a project dive plan that outlines our anticipated diving activity.  Diver conduct will adhere to the University of Maine's diving safety manual until we create one specific to the Hurricane Island Foundation. Eventually, we will create a diving control board made up of experienced scientific divers who will review our dive plans to ensure we are operating safely. We are also considering pursuing an organizational membership with the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), an organization that specializes in establishing and maintaining scientific diving standards. 

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