3 posts

My NOLA Experience

Attending the NOLA trip was so amazing and was also the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was exhausting, it was fun, it was beautiful, it was eye-opening.

The last full day, at 84 degrees and 95% humidity

This trip gave me a lot of varied experience: monitoring, construction, public education – even cooking!

I think the best thing I got out of this trip was the solidification of my dream job. At Fishstock, I was able to interact with the public and teach them about some of the fish that reside in the Gulf. I had an absolute blast and was even pulled aside and interviewed by the Plaquemines Parish government about my scientific background and more.

This woman’s face while I described how batfish ‘walk’ with their fins was priceless.

Here I am in the latter half of the interview describing the relationship between dinosaurs and fish with the help of two of our living primitive bony fishes: the aligator gar and the spotted gar.

I’m also grateful for the other students I got to know on this trip. Everyone was kind, fun, encouraging, and passionate. I think a lot of us will stay friends for years to come.

Em Richter listening in on a conversation I’m having over my gar phone.
Rai and I in the ESRM van

Em, Christian (OSU), and I snap a quick sunset selfie in the van.

Capstone Community Garden

March 21st – We returned to the lower ninth ward again to meet David, who runs a community garden in a food desert. We were tasked with building two above-ground ponds for raising catfish in. The gardne produces a variety of veggies and fruits and even honey, but these catfish are an opportunity to provide the community with protein. It was really fulfilling to help out and know that we made a difference.

Watch to hear directly from David about the history and impact the garden has had.
Our completed frames will be lined by David, after which he can stock them with catfish.