Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Diving Department Wins National Recognition

June 11, 2013

Newport, Oregon— Home to the “Best shore dive on the Oregon coast,” it seems natural that the Oregon Coast Aquarium earned the honor of hosting the 2013 Our World Underwater Scholarship Society and American Academy of Scientific Diving intern.

The intern, Teresa Tymon, is a recent marine science graduate with an emphasis in biological oceanography from the University of South Carolina. She brings science diving experience to the Aquarium from her time as a research assistant in Indonesia where she helped conduct marine biodiversity research.

Tymon explained she applied to the internship because she is, “particularly interested in the medical potential of marine organisms and plans to pursue a PhD in the field of marine biomedicine. Scuba diving is likely to be an integral part of my career and I am eager to expand upon my diving skills.”

During her summer at the Aquarium, Tymon will work on two field research projects. The Invasive Species project monitors and reports invasive species, including those from the Western Pacific that are crossing the ocean on tsunami debris. The project is a partnership between the Aquarium, the US Forest Service Pacific NW Region 6, the US Forest Service Pacific NW Research Station, the Oregon Invasive Species Council, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Tymon will also help the Aquarium conduct surveys on rockfish distribution and abundance using underwater communication and video equipment in cooperation with the Seattle Aquarium.

In addition to these special projects the Aquarium offers unique diving opportunities within its exhibits including marine animal husbandry, fish behavioral studies, interpretive diving and aquatic animal collection. The recently launched Dive the Aquarium program allows visitors to dive in the Passages of the Deep exhibits, and a large team of volunteer divers provide opportunities for training in dive leadership. This diverse portfolio of scientific diving experiences the Aquarium offers set it apart from the other host applications for the program.

Vallorie Hodges, Dive Safety Officer for the Aquarium, said, “The opportunity to host Teresa’s internship places the Aquarium on the national platform of scientific diving. This partnership between Our World Underwater, the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and the Oregon Coast Aquarium is building bridges for research, and conservation through collaboration, education and scientific diving leadership. Such partnerships continue to promote our inter-related missions, but also enrich the lives of the interns, the hosts and the sponsors equally! We are pleased to be involved in the future of a promising young scientist!” More information about the Aquarium’s public Dive the Aquarium program can be found at http://aquarium.org/education/dive-the-aquarium or http://www.divetheaquarium.org/.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is dedicated to the highest quality aquatic and marine science programs for recreation and education so that the public better understands, cherishes, and conserves the world’s natural marine and coastal resources. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow us on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium, or Twitter.com/OrCoastAquarium for the latest updates.
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