This year Sea Watch has opened again its door to young, aspiring marine biologists to join the Cardigan Bay team for one or two weeks at a time to get their first taste for what lies ahead of them. Recently, the New Quay team was joined by A student Katy Alldridge, who assisted the team in all aspects of field and office work, ranging from collecting data from land to assist during boat trips. Read on to find out more about her experience!
Hello, my name is Katy Alldridge and I’m an A Level student from the midlands. I carried out a week of work experience from the 16th July with Sea Watch Foundation. I study Biology, Chemistry and English Literature and want to pursue a biology degree when I go to university next year. My week with Sea Watch gave me a great insight into research work surrounding cetaceans; my time there gave me experience in different data and survey skills regarding collection and input of effort and sightings on both land and on the boat. I didn’t know much about cetaceans prior to my placement at Sea Watch, but since leaving I can see its given me a better understanding of techniques such a photo-identification which I may use later in my studies at university/carer and working with staff and interns I have learnt about the different behaviours of the dolphins and how to distinguish between.
As well as taking part in landwatches, on my last day I got the chance to go out on one the 2-hour dolphin trip boat with some of the interns to collect data. I saw sightings of grey seals as well as bottlenose dolphins which expressed behaviours like tail-slapping and bow-riding.
I had a wonderful time at Sea Watch and as well as gaining experience and knowledge in areas I wouldn’t have had the chance to without coming to Sea Watch; I believe it helped me be more comfortable getting to know new people and the new interns made me feel so welcome even though they are a few years older than me. Getting to know the interns for the brief period of time I did, when out on landwatch or carrying out other tasks, has helped me with decisions regarding what university degree I wanted to study- and they’ve made me eager to pursue internships such as theirs when I have the opportunity. The other staff at Sea Watch made me feel so welcomed and I’m grateful for them allowing me to carry out my work experience there. Thank you to everyone at Sea Watch while I was on placement!