Over 100 young people, mainly aged 16-18, took part in the 2019 Marine Science Camps programme. The six camps were hosted at well-equipped FSC centres across the UK, and were co-delievered by experienced FSC tutors and MBA marine biologists. Each camp had a unique flavour and provided great opportunities to gain key skills in aquatic biology, ecosystem surveys and species identification, as well as to meet like-minded peers and professionals to gain insights into marine biology careers.
Participants have also been welcomed to the marine biology community through Young Marine Biologist or Student membership of the MBA. A further work experience opportunity was provided to five MBA student members to participate as mentors in the camps.
Below is the account of Matthew Boddy, who participated in the 'Rocky Shore, Freshwater Ecology, Marine Aquaria and Marine Microbiology' camp that took place in August 2019 at the FSC's Slapton Ley Field Centre in Devon.
'What do you really hear when you hear marine biology? I have always been fascinated by the ineffable majesty of the oceans, and yet heard only of massive cetaceans, infamous elasmobranchs or exotic anthozoans. Slapton Ley made me realise I require a hearing aid. Here, I have heard about (or been pinched by) the UK's own incredible marine life, from Cetorhinus maximus to Eunicella verrucosa. This forced me to look again even at our most 'simple' organisms. The rocky shore trip showed slow motion battles of limpets against dog whelks. The whelks attempt to drill in to the limpets which not only grapple to toss them away but then follow chemical trails, magnetic senses or sun-tracking skills back to unique footholds. This was a revolution for me, marine science was no longer a far away, tropical dream but a beautiful story that plays out around me.
The marine science camp has advanced my scientific self through taxonomy, survey techniques and networking links but also gained me new confidence in my social life through the incredible people I have met here. I cannot thank all the tutors and organisers enough, and I will forever remember this trip'
Matthew Boddy (YMB age 17)
A blue-rayed limpet (Patella pelucida) feasting on a kelp holdfast