Under the Sea: Biscayne National Park Internship

I was fortunate to have been selected as the LHIP Biscayne National Park intern for this summer, and work has already begun on our primary project: a multi-agency archaeological survey in search of a shipwreck known from historical evidence to have run aground within our Park.

From Left to Right: Me and Arlice Marionneaux

However, before I am able to join the team of research divers, I need to first qualify as a trained and able scientific and research diver myself. Already qualified as an SSI Open Water diver, and an AAUS Scientific Diver, the National Park Service’s Blue Card certification allows me to work within any of the National Parks as a diver, and awards me the opportunity to be certified by more rigorous standards.

Entering the water with a back roll off the side of the boat.

Some of the requirements for this certification include the ability to swim long distances with and without the assistance of fins and snorkels, as well as basic SCUBA diving composure skills, such as taking off your mask underwater, and being able to find your air regulator when it becomes dislodged from your mouth.

National Park Service SCUBA tanks

With the help from the Submerged Resources Center team (SRC), I was instructed on the procedures and was taken out onto Biscayne Bay to complete all of the exercises. Following our physical tests was a written exam designed to test our knowledge of basic first aid, the physiological affects of diving on the body, and the general safety rules a diver must adhere to. These tests enable us to conduct our underwater research safely and knowledgeably. With our preliminary training and certifications seen to, the real work may now begin! I am thrilled and honored to be able to share with you this exciting summer adventure, working with an incredible team of talented and experienced divers and researchers who are passionate about discovering and preserving our cultural heritage.

The view from “our office”

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