Scientific divers getting salty.
Conducting research underwater can be quite challenging. There are a host of difficulties including visibility, surge and current, communication, and air supply. So how do we cope with these things to complete our research?
There isn't anything you can do about the weather and water conditions which unfortunately leads to canceled dives. So when the water is calm, we get as much work done as possible.
Communication is very challenging, while the silence underwater is one of my favorite parts of diving, it can make work impossible at times. It's important that dive teams clearly communicate the goals for the day's work before going under so that little underwater communication is needed. Dive slates and underwater paper can help with this problem and notes can be scribbled to each other. But this takes time and with a limited air supply it's important to use time wisely.
Depending on the depth, the people, and the conditions underwater, air supply varies greatly and the time you have underwater can be very short. Working in larger teams, as quick and efficiently as possible, and doing multiple dives a day help with this.
Finally, when working underwater, it's often necessary to remain in one spot. This can be very challenging even if the conditions are good, there is usually still current and surge pushing us around. As scientific divers working on coral reefs, we avoid relying on the bottom for stability because we don't want to harm any of the organisms living there. Experience helps with learning how to position yourself and how to swim to deal with some of the surge and current but it remains a challenge for even the most experienced divers.
#Guam #womenwhodive #research #science #marinebiology #scicomm #womeninstem #womenwhodive #workinghard #padiwomensdiveday #underwater #diving #scubadiving #ocean #salty #scientificdiving #coralreef #gradschool #ecology