Monthly Archives: July 2016

R/V Savannah honored for “Best Grub”

R/V Savannah chef Jack Van Dyke was honored with the “Best Grub” award by the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System. The citation reads:

2015-2016 Victual Award

Whereas by our Royal Concession, Our trusty Research Vessel Savannah has been inspected and found worthy by My Royal Staff, we hereby declare to all whom it may concern that it is Our Royal Will and Pleasure to confer upon her crew the National Science Foundation honor of Best Grub. Should any member of the crew or science party grow broad in the beam We do hereby command that all Kraken, Sharks, Whales and other dwellers of the Deep shall abstain from consuming this tasty morsel. We further direct all Sailors, Scientists, Funding Agency Representatives and other ne’er-do-wells of the High Seas to treat them with the respect due to One of Us.

Jack Van Dyke

Jack Van Dyke

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Ribbon cutting, education activities draw a crowd to UGA Aquarium for World Oceans Day

As about 60 children and adults looked on, the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant officially dedicated a covered pavilion at the UGA Skidaway Island campus on Wednesday, June 8th.

Pavilion photo w

The pavilion was made possible by a gift from Gus Arrendale, III and Springer Mountain Farms, which paid for construction materials for the pavilion. Volunteers from The Landings residential community on Skidaway Island, who call themselves the Barn Builders, constructed the facility.

“I want to express deep gratitude to Gus Arrendale of Springer Mountain Farms,” Jennifer Frum, UGA vice president for public service and outreach, told the crowd. “His gift was really the catalyst that allowed us to complete the pavilion. I want you all to go home and eat either wild-caught Georgia shrimp or Springer Mountain Farms’ chicken.”

Frum also acknowledged the contribution of the Barn Builders, led by Lars Ljungdahl, who spoke at the ribbon cutting.

The celebration was part of a day of educational activities that drew nearly 300 people to the aquarium to celebrate World Oceans Day. Visitors were treated to a behind the scenes look at the aquarium, educational programs on reptiles and ocean preservation, and animal feedings. Guests who attended the pavilion dedication were admitted to the aquarium for free from 3 p.m. until closing.

The Springer Mountain Farms Pavilion, named for the company founded and run by Gus Arrendale III, has running water and electricity and provides a much-needed space for outdoor education.

Private funding is critical for further aquarium expansion, said Mark Risse, director of UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

“It was the local community that really made this happen,” Risse said. “We hope the kids will get a chance to enjoy it. ”

Ruth Bartlett, UGA Alumni Association president, presented an additional gift to Marine Extension from Arrendale for Marine Extension. Bartlett is a long-time friend of Arrendale, who was not available to attend the ribbon cutting.

“The main thing is it helps all these children that come to the summer camps and throughout the school year,” Bartlett said. Gus “was really tickled about that.”

June 8 is designated by the United Nations as World Oceans Day to celebrate conservation of this important resource around the world.

Learn more about the UGA Aquarium at http://marex.uga.edu/aquarium.

R/V Savannah Crew Updates

by John Bichy

John Bichy

John Bichy

Following Michael Richter’s retirement as marine superintendent in late March, the ship has undergone a significant transformation.

First, the ship’s first mate John Bichy was hired as the new marine superintendent. John made the full transition to his new position on June 1st.  His first priority was to stabilize the crew and fill the vacant marine tech, engineer and first mate positions with qualified personnel.

Zach Tait

Zach Tait

In May, Zach Tait joined the crew as the new marine technician.  Zach was a fill-in tech for two years when he previously worked at Skidaway Institute under Aron Stubbins and, more recently, as a self-employed farmer in his home state of North Carolina. Zach’s strong scientific background, combined with his electrical and mechanical skills give him all the tools required to lead the science capabilities on the ship.

Terrell Scarboro

Terrell Scarboro

The ship’s second mate, Terrell Scarboro, was offered the full-time engineer position. Terrell served as the fill-in engineer for more than five months. He brings a strong mechanical skill set, a positive attitude and maturity to this important role on the ship.

This move opened up the second mate position, which was quickly filled with the rehiring of Jordan Solomon.

Jordan Solomon

Jordan Solomon

Jordan was a crew member for two years before he departed last July. We feel lucky to have Jordan back. He is a hard worker and well respected by fellow crew and ship users.

Last but not least, Skidaway Institute hired another former employee Sean McNulty as first mate.

Sean McNulty

Sean McNulty

Sean left Skidaway in 2011 for a chief mate position on the UNOLS ship R/V Hugh Sharp. Sean is the ultimate professional who brings years of experience operating and maintaining large ships.

After months of uncertainty the ship’s crew is finally stable and one that is as strong as ever.

 

Lots of new faces on campus

Gabe Matthias

Gabe Matthias

Gabe Matthias is a new research technician for Dana Savidge. Gabe has a bachelor’s degree in aquaculture and fisheries science, a master’s in oceanography and an MBA — all from the University of Rhode Island. He grew up in Rhode Island, but lived in North Carolina and Maryland before moving to Savannah four months ago. He has been working as a fill-in crew on the R/V Savannah for the past several months.

Sydney Plummer

Sydney Plummer

Sydney Plummer is an incoming Ph.D. student through the Integrated Life Sciences program at the University of Georgia. She is currently working in Julia Diaz’s lab. Her project involves studying superoxide production by phytoplankton in the presence of grazing predator species. Her hobbies include reading, camping, and going on adventures.

Christine Burns

Christine Burns

Christine Burns is an incoming master’s degree student who will be working with both Clark Alexander and Meryl Alber from the Athens marine sciences faculty. She is originally from “just outside of Philadelphia,” but she’s spent the past two years working up and down the east coast. Most recently she worked as a salt marsh research technician in the Peterson lab at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences. Her hobbies include rock climbing and kayaking.

Karla Haiat

Karla Haiat

Karla Haiat is an REU student with Aron Stubbins’s lab. Karla is originally from Mexico City, but is currently a marine biology and ocean engineering major at the University of Rhode Island. She says her main interest has always been deep water biology and sharks. “So I decided to pursue a degree in ocean engineering as well, giving myself the skills and the tools to work where I want to work,” she said. “I figure that if I can pilot an ROV, I can get involved with the information that ROVs can get for scientists.”

Camisha Few

Camisha Few

Camisha Few is also an REU student in the Stubbins lab. She attends Florida A&M University where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a minor in journalism. “I hope to one day write for a science-oriented magazine or newsletter,” she said. “I’d also like to conduct my own research, inside and outside of the lab,” she said. “My goal is to just make a difference in the world and hopefully inspire the next generation to join in on the ever growing science field.”

Doug Mollett

Doug Mollett

Doug Mollett is an REU student with Julia Diaz. He is a rising sophomore at Georgetown College and is pursuing a double-major in environmental science and Spanish. His work with Julia involves alkaline phosphatase activity in local waters.

They are not entirely new faces since they have been frequenting the Skidaway campus since they were small children,

Kathryn Savidge

Kathryn Savidge

but Kathryn and Helen Savidge are both volunteering here for the summer. Kathryn is a rising junior at Susquehanna University, majoring in graphic design. This summer she is working on data discovery, wind and wave forcing examination, and as a general assistant for her mom, Dana Savidge.

Helen Savidge

Helen Savidge

Helen is also a junior at Susquehanna University where she majors in creative writing. This summer she is interning with Amanda Wrona and The Nature Conservancy, writing conservation news pieces for the organization.