Flying Fish

Spring Break Musings
by Nicole Carlozo -- March 7th, 2012

Some updates and thoughts from a little coffee shop in Beaufort.

Spring break is upon us at the Marine Lab, even as I sit here in the local coffee shop sipping on a Chai Tea. I cringe, thinking that this is probably the last “spring break” I’ll see in a long time (assuming that I’m employed this time next year). While some students are traveling the Pacific or exploring Panama, I’m sticking a little closer to home.

Maybe I should more fully embrace my last chance at a week-long spring vacation, but the next 2 months will be filled to the brim with school work and job hunting. Sometimes, a little down time is more important than another adventure.

But even “down time” isn’t as relaxing as one might think, especially for a Duke student on the verge of graduation.

Last week I turned in the first draft of my Masters Project (MP) to my adviser, and I’m eagerly awaiting comments and suggestions. At present, my working title is “Preparing for Climate Change in North Carolina: Assessing Coastal Habitat for Natural Shoreline Stabilization.” My research addresses suitable oyster and SAV habitat for use in living shoreline projects throughout Dare and Hyde counties. You might remember my adventures this summer while working at The Nature Conservancy? Well, that project has carried itself over into my MP as I provide natural stabilization site suggestions to TNC and other interested stakeholders.

As I develop my MP website, I’ll be able to share more of my findings with you! But for now, I’ll just say that stabilization techniques are hotly discussed along North Carolina shores, and natural stabilization has been offered as an alternative strategy to shoreline protection. It’s my hope that my research provides valuable insights to environmental managers and coastal property owners alike.

It’s hard to believe that in less than 1 month, I’ll be in Durham presenting my MP. Less than 1 month after that, I’ll turn in my final draft. Then, just before graduation, I’ll present my findings to the Marine Lab community. A lot of work still needs to get done between now and then.

But for now, I’m taking a break from MP worries. To kick off the week, I spent 5 days in Maryland visiting family and friends, not to mention celebrating my Grandfather’s 90th Birthday!

The time went quickly and now I’m back in Beaufort readying myself for the Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society Tidewater Chapter. This year, the Tidewater Meeting is in our very own Beaufort! I plan on spending the next 3 days networking in the NC Maritime Museum, wandering the warm, quaint streets of Beaufort, and thinking about fish.

Not a bad spring break, now is it?

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