Fantastic Shark Trip 02/06/2010

February 6, 2010

Hello!  My name is Adam Matulik, a senior intern for the shark program.  I have been working with the shark program since April 2007, helping Dr. Hammerschlag with anything from counting and identifying fish species, pulling seine nets, and helping with improving handling methods.  I am also a graduate student at Nova Southeastern University working on a master’s thesis involving correlating the mercury concentration in shark tissue with relative trophic level determined through stable isotope ratios of nitrogen and carbon.

Intern Adam Matulik bathing in sunblock:) (Click to Enlarge)

I’ll be telling you a little bit about how today’s shark trip.  Most of the interns like to drive down the morning of a trip, but I’m usually much too tired to wake up at 5am and make a two hour drive from Broward County.  So I had stayed the previous night in the SeaBase scuba dormitory.  My morning started with getting my gear ready and setting it on the dock in preparation of the arrival of our guests and the other interns.

Today’s team included Dr. Hammerschlag, Captain Curt Slonim, Brendal Davis, Julia Lampe, Katie Sellers, and Jamison Farrell.  Over a steaming cup of runny pre-packaged oatmeal, I talked with the others as they arrived about how they were.  One thing you learn about this shark program is that its so much more than just a group of people who happen to do shark research, over time you feel like family and each member has something special to add to the program.

Adam, Dr. Hammerschlag, and Brendal enjoying the beautiful weather! (Click to Enlarge)

Once we were getting on the boat and about get going our guests of honor arrived – Edward and Hillary Smith.  Edward, a medical doctor, and Hillary, a partner for an event-planning company, joined us by meeting Neil through “Save the Blue.”  They were lots of fun on the trip, and it seems they had an absolute blast!  I certainly enjoy having new people on board, and Edward and Hillary were great.  They even posted part of their experience on their blog:

Edward and Hillary learning about our new satellite tags! (Click to Enlarge)

Despite some warnings of potential foul weather, the day turned out beautifully!  We pulled up two bull sharks, three blacktip sharks, and a good-sized lemon shark.  Unfortunately, neither of the bull sharks were large enough to deploy our satellite tags, but all of us still enjoyed a day out with our favorite elasmobranchs.  Even though it seemed like a slow day, we still were able to pull out plenty of data and samples with which we can work.

Shark Team measuring a Bull Shark (Click to Enlarge)

My heart goes out to the students from Mast Academy who missed out on the trip because of those weather warnings, but safety is always the number one priority on any trip.  Thanks to our crew from SeaBase!  Thanks again to Edward and Hillary!  And thanks to my sharky family for making it a fun day!

It already looks to be a very promising season.

Warm regards and good sharking,


2 replies
  1. Nicolas Polignan
    Nicolas Polignan says:

    Congratulations Mast Academy for having such a great turn out despite the possible foul weather. I wish I could of been on this trip in order to see one of my favorite sharks, Bull Sharks.

  2. Paola Otero
    Paola Otero says:

    Good day
    My name is Paola Otero
    I am a biologist and I live in bogota (Colombia) I made my thesis in sharks because they interest me a lot.
    I want to receive information on the masters in the University of Miami
    R.J. Dunlap Conservation Marinates Program. Thank you

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