About the Author
Now that I’ve spent some time introducing the rest of the dive team, let me introduce myself. I’m Brittany, and I’m a research technician in the Caselle Lab. I started at PISCO over four years ago while I was an undergraduate at UCSB, but my love for the ocean and exploration came long before that. I read the National Geographic cover story on the Bahamas blue holes in August 2010, and, as 15-year-olds in pursuit of a self-identity do, taped the poster to my bedroom wall. The image of divers swimming through the glowing, almost phosphorescent, cave system made me want to search for unanswered questions in unfamiliar places. Diving with PISCO gave me the tools to do so. It shaped and defined my college experience. I was able to explore a beautiful, shimmering world, poking my head under rocks, coming to face-to-face with sea lions, and often stunned by the majesty of a kelp cathedral -- all with the purpose of scientific exploration.
In addition to diving, I found a niche in Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) projects, and wrote my senior thesis comparing the new method to our diver surveys on the Santa Barbara mainland. Since then, and in my current position, I’ve used BRUVs to generate species lists for the remote Azores Islands off of Portugal and the under-studied Islas Marias, Mexico. Now, eager to apply my skills to new research endeavors, I’m pursuing an M.S. in marine conservation starting in Fall 2019. I hope to continue to share my personal experience, as well as the shared experiences of a group of divers like this one, with a wider audience.
By reading about our dive team the past few months, I hope you have seen how the ocean has impacted each and every one of our lives, even causing some of us to dedicate our entire careers to protecting it. I hope it has shown you that you also have a voice. Finally, I hope you use that voice, and ask that you do so with the ocean in mind.