Here are pics of some of the folks that I've been working with at the Oceanic Society field station. Some of them are staff of Oceanic Society and others work with OS. There are some folks that I'll have to include later because I haven't been able to get a good photo of them yet. Starting with some of the staff, one of the hardest working guys down here, Chico (pictured on the right). He takes care of the grounds. He's working all of the time. The dude is always smiling! Unfortunately, my Spanish is so bad these days that I can hardly talk to the man. Chico tries to keep up on all of the trash that washes up down here, but it would take a crew working around the clock to keep up.
Alton, on the left, is one of our boat captains, our coconut demonstration guru, and our maintenance and repair man.
On the right, is Mr. Kent, our island manager and boat captain. He's the guy that brought Jacques Cousteau to the Blue Hole. He always has this totally amused smile when he's driving the boat.
Our third boat captain, is Richard. He's usually the guy that takes me all of the places that I need to go around the atoll. I'm lucky to have him there when I don't know where to go on a snorkel, I can just look up at him and he'll point me the right direction. I still need pictures of Rose, assistant cook and housekeeper, and Wanda, our head cook, so I'll have to post them later. Sometimes Wanda's grandchildren visit the atoll too. Here's a picture of Maureen, one of her grandaughters. I think that it's great to have the local kids around. Giving them a chance to see more of what goes on here is perfect. I would like to see a program develop through Oceanic Society for the local kids from Belize. We'd need a donor to support such an project, but I think that it could really pay off in the end.
Then there's the researchers.....I've already posted pics of Thomas Rainwater, the croc-guy, but I haven't posted many pics of Leslee Parr, Mario Mota, or Kathryn Patterson, although they've been mentioned many times in my posts. Leslee Parr is a geneticist from San Jose State University. She's does work on all kinds of organisms, but is well known for her work in Sirenian (manatee, dugongs) genetics. Her good friend, colleague and drinking buddy, Mario Mota, will undoubtedly hate this picture, but, fortunately, he's not a big fan of blogs, so it doesn't matter. He's looking pretty serious here and all decked out for protection from mosquitoes as we went into the freshwater lagoon out back to look for crocs. Mario has also worked with a lot of different marine megafauna, but turtles are his specialty these days. Finally, there's Kathryn Patterson, and she'll hate this picture too, but until I have a different one it will have to do. Kathryn is currently working on her Masters degree. She's down here studying Bottlenosed Dolphins and relationships between mothers and calves. Many of the groups that come down here go out with Kathryn to help her collect data (and to see some of the charismatic megafauna themselves). I think that she's sad here because we didn't see any dolphins while out looking for crocodiles.
We also had a volunteer turtle research assistant, Nicole Hyslop, that came down and found out that she was going to be a volunteer crocodile research assistant. She sat on the tail of some good sized crocs and every time she went snorkeling we had to drag her out of the ocean.