Napoleon Paxton :: Research

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Abstract for Beaufort Intership:

Determining the Maximum Depth of Seagrass Beds along the Southern Outer Banks
Dr. Jud. Kenworthy or Dr. Patrick Biber
NOAA Beaufort Laboratory
101 Pivers Island Road
Beaufort, NC 29815
Tel: 252-728 3595

Interns for the summer of 2004 (May-Aug) will assist in determining the maximum depth of seagrass beds along the Southern Outer Banks. Interns will be responsible for assisting scientists at the NOAA Beaufort Laboratory with this project. The interns will work on georeferencing existing aerial photography, selecting sampling sites using this imagery placed in a GIS, and then going in the field to assist with ground-truthing activities.

The goals of this project are to develop a long-term record of seagrass bed extent, focusing primarily on the historical changes that have occurred to the deep-edge, and tie this in with historical changes in water-quality. The data gathered from this internship project will be used to calibrate a model of light-attenuation for seagrass habitat requirements. This model is being developed as a tool to assist managers with monitoring water-quality to protect seagrasses, a critical estuarine habitat in North Carolina. Future developments for this model aim to include remote-sensing information in near-real time to enable timely and appropriate management actions to be made.

Required skills: Interns should have a background in the natural sciences (biology, geology, oceanography) or engineering, with knowledge of how a Geographic Information System (GIS) functions. An interest in water-quality or natural resources will be important for this project. In addition, the interns will be required to assist scientists with field work from small boats, including assistance with gathering GPS positions and determining the depth of seagrasses, either snorkeling or on SCUBA. A willingness and ability to work long hours outside in summer conditions is necessary to complete the field portion of this project

Additional skills: A strong background in computers with experience using GIS is preferred, but not essential. All necessary training to complete the tasks will be available for the duration of the internship.