Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And That's A Wrap!

It is almost impossible for me to believe that it has been 8 weeks since this journey began with NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension.  When I first entered into this fellowship, I was uncertain of what to expect, but now reflecting on my experience, I am amazed at how much I have learned and discovered about collaborative science, the fishing industry, and myself.

It all began with my first meeting with my mentors, Erik Chapman and Gabby Bradt where I realized I would be working on a wide variety of projects.  I wasn't even confident I would be able to manage it all!  Looking back now, I find it funny how nervous I was to start.  In only 8 weeks I have helped Erik monitor the relationship between a major buyer and the Yankee Fishermen's Cooperative in Seabrook, assisted Gabby in testing out one very temperamental marine debris tracking app on an iPad, formated the inaugural issue of UNHCE and NHSG's new newsletter titled "What's The Catch?", assisted the Community Supported Fishery at drop-offs in Dover and Rye, assisted Michael Chambers in small-scale aquaculture of steelhead trout, traveled to five different farmer's markets educating the community on the NH Fresh & Local campaign, and I was able to spend two amazing days lobstering with Gabby and captain Lee Schatvet piloting the lobster bands project on the F/V Yesterday's Storm.

Over the course of this fellowship, I have met many unique and amazing people who I admire greatly from fishermen, to chefs, to oyster farmers, to scientists.  This experience has helped me to discover a strong passion for the fishing industry and as I approach my senior year at UNH I am eager to search for opportunities to continue working in this field.  

I cannot say "thank you" to my mentors enough for all the time they invested in me and the opportunities they have provided me with.  Each week this fellowship presented me with new challenges that forced me to adapt and learn to understand the different perspectives of each challenge.  I learned very quickly that this industry is complex, and in order to be a part of the progress, one must be able to understand multiple sides to every issue at hand.  This fellowship has taught me to better communicate with a variety of people in many ways including electronically, on paper, and in person.  This opportunity has also helped me to become a more independent worker and a stronger decision maker.  

I am excited for what the future holds, and I am ready to put all I have learned in the past 8 weeks to use where ever I end up!  Thank you to Sea Grant for this amazing opportunity and to Erik Chapman and Gabby Bradt for guiding me throughout this journey. 

My mentors, top left: Erik Chapman, top right: Gabriela Bradt

Whether I was in the office, at a market, or on the water, I was challenged by each project at hand.  I can honestly say, though, that I enjoyed every minute!  

Until next time...
Shout out to LJ Schatvet for using hake heads for bait and teaching me to be a lobsterman! Courtesy of Gabriela Bradt

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