May 11, 2009

What I do.

I'm really not sure what direction I'm going with this blog, but I thought I'd hit on some interesting fish topics, things/hobbies going on in my life, science nerd ramblings, and some other junk.

For starters, I live in Pensacola, FL with my lovely wife and two dogs.

Currently, I'm working as a fisheries research technician at the University of West Florida fisheries lab. I just finished my masters thesis, and I couldn't find a my advisor offered me a tech job for the next year. And the best thing is that not only do I get paid a little more, I keep getting to do what I do.

For the past couple of years as a grad student, I've studied artificial reefs off the coast of Florida. We video the fish communities on the reefs with an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle). It's basically an underwater camera with thrusters on it. Here's the one we use:

It's a VideoRay Pro III model, and its about the size of the printer sitting on your desk. The little sub has a color camera up front, a black and white camera in the back, two horizontal thrusters, one vertical thruster, and a missile launcher. Here is some footage taken of some artificial reef modules that were deployed off of Pensacola, FL:

Sorry about the piloting skills, I was throwing back some budweisers. Tons of fish, right? Its my job to identify and count them all.

Another part of the artificial reef study was to map out the movements of reef fish. So we conducted a fish tagging study. I used internal anchor tags that we implant in the side of the fish that look like this:

Here's a tagged red grouper caught on a reef very similar to the video above.

So, the fish get tagged, swim away, and then get caught by fishermen who call the phone number on the tag to claim a small reward. As long as they give me the location of where the fish was caught and the coordinates of the secret rebel base, I send them a check for 10 bucks.

There's a tidbit of my job, I do some other super nerdy stuff in the lab...but that's not very interesting to post here, plus I do some amateur wrestling on the weekends.


1 comment:

  1. You should see his costume for the's epic.