By Robert Giesler - NDP Intern Aug 2015
Landing at Walvis Bay airport, my first thought was "what have I done?” The airport was little more than a tent, and everywhere I looked there was sand, and nothing else. I was thankful to find that Walvis Bay was in fact a city with actual houses. The community is a small one, and it wasn’t long before I'd met the entire population of the waterfront. This tight knit community feel is what gives the town its charm, and what makes the program redeeming. As a part of a small team, you are not only guaranteed to make close connections with your fellow interns and staff members, but also to have real responsibilities and be an integral part of the team. The data we collected and entered will all be put to use by the project (after quite a bit of mistake fixing I'm sure), and on the boat everyone has responsibilities and jobs to do.
Boat days were the highlight of the research. We had the opportunity to spend plenty of time with the animals; watching the adorable Heaviside’s dolphins swim within inches of the boat, witnessing bottlenose dolphin feeding frenzies and following humpback whales for biopsy samples.
This internship gave me a great insight into the life of a marine researcher. I learned things I didn't expect to, like how to prep, launch and drive a boat, how to use a crossbow and a hydrophone, and how to put a battery on to charge properly (something we all struggle with... right?). I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this important project as well as to spend a month in one of the most beautiful countries on the planet!
IT'S NOT SCIENCE IF YOU DON'T WRITE IT DOWN - ROBERT DATA RECORDING