I just got back from an awesome first day of interning at the New England Aquarium. The day started off with a quick tour of the aquarium and the places I would be working “behind the scenes” with Holly, followed by a briefing of volunteer rules and regs. The first thing I got to do today was help Trish, a Dive Volunteer, clean buckets and prep food for the feedings. The animals in the Giant Ocean Tank (GOT) get fed four times a day. The tank divers dive five times a day, one at each feeding and then an additional cleaning dive. I really like food prep, different animals get different types of fish…for example needlefish get cut up sardines while the big rays like chunks of smelt and capelin, and the sharks eat squid stuffed with fish and vitamins if they are hungry. Today I got to stand on the feeding platform and feed Myrtle, the giant green turtle, and the needlefish.
I also dove in the GOT! Holly gave me a nice tour of the tank and its inhabitants and let me pat a nurse shark, it was really cool. I was apparently intruding on one black fish’s space as I was cleaning the reef because it kept nipping at my wetsuit. I learned a lot about many different animals today, from the ones in the GOT, to a couple of fish in smaller aquariums in a laboratory that Holly showed to me. I can’t wait for tomorrow!