Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
2017 Gray's Reef Research Cruise Photos
Mission Information
 

Gray's Reef Research
Expeditions 2017

Monday: June 19, 2017
Log Day 11

Chris Hines
Gray's Reef Deputy Superintendent
Savannah, GA

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and the Nancy Foster mission provide unique experiences to research scientists, staff, but also volunteers. Today we highlight one of those individuals that is participating on this year's research cruise. Haley Haynes is a volunteer for the University of Connecticut. She is from Gainesville, GA and recently graduated from University of Georgia (UGA) with a degree in Ecology.

Between two vases.

Between two vases.
(Photo: Kim Roberson, GRNMS)

Today was a dive stand-down day. After eight days of continuous dives, the crew and scientists took a well-deserved breather. Not for Haley though. She was up at 4:10 am, as she is every day. Haley has an extremely important role to play in the theater that is this research cruise. After a quick bowl of cereal, she starts her work promptly at 4:30 am. That is when the fun begins!

Scientific connections are important in the natural world and the human world. Haley has made the most of both. Her UGA professor, Dr. Scott Noakes is a close partner with Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and Dr. Peter Auster. Through the intersection of these three, she was able to land a spot on this research cruise.

Haley Haynes in survival suit during ship drills.

Haley Haynes in survival suit during ship drills.
(Photo: Aria Remondi, NOAA)

A certified science diver, Haley grew up enjoying ocean shows on National Geographic and Discovery. That, along with many family trips to the beach, inspired her to follow her passion and desire to eventually receive her Divemaster certification to then train other science divers! After a study abroad dive experience in Bonaire, Haley now seeks international opportunities to continue her science diving career.

Back to 4:30 am, she gets to look for fish at Gray's Reef for four hours using acoustics technology! Schools of predator and prey fish light up the screen as the ship maneuvers to different sites throughout the morning. Haley describes a fish aggregation as a colorful blob on her radar screen and when that occurs, she takes a screenshot and stores it for data analysis later. Amazingly, Haley does not drink coffee or tea, or anything else to help her stay awake at that hour.

Predator and prey schools are what Haley searches her screens.

Predator and prey schools are what Haley searches her screens.
(Photo: Kim Roberson, GRNMS)

At 8:30 am after her shift ends and perhaps starting to see colorful fish aggregations everywhere she looks, she heads for a nap while the rest of the crew are out for their morning dives. Sleeping while everyone else is awake is no easy task.

Her afternoons and evenings consist of helping topside with dive operations and engaging with the fantastic crew onboard. Haley has heard many good stories and describes the crew as entertaining, awesome, and really fun. She also supports other research including looking for interesting fish, turtle, and shark behavior through video.

New scientists joined the mission today delivered by Gray's Reef RV Joe Ferguson.

New scientists joined the mission today delivered by Gray's Reef RV Joe Ferguson.
(Photo: Jody Patterson, GRNMS)

Haley is learning a lot and hopes to use this experience to pursue a Master's degree and teach scientific diving while traveling the world with her new fiancé. Thanks to the support of volunteers like Haley, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary is able to advance its mission and engage community members in research.


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