My name is Susanna, and I was an intern in the SEAmBOTH team last summer in Oulu. I study geography at the University of Oulu and thought that it was time for me to get some work experience in my own field of expertise. Even though I have not studied biology that much, I am interested in nature, different ways of studying it, and conserving the environment. So this sounded like an amazing opportunity for me to get to know the Bothnian Bay area more. There were so many things that happened during my internship, that it is hard to collect my thoughts. But anyways, here is my experience with the marine biology team of Oulu!
Photo 1. Happy intern! (Photo: Susanna Greus 2018).
I started my internship in the middle of summer in July, and on my first day we moved to Ulkokrunni for the next two weeks. The team is a well-oiled machine and jumping into that machine was very overwhelming in the beginning. Luckily, I learned everything quite well during the first two weeks, except for the plant species’ names, but we’ll get to that later. Ulkokrunni is a conservation area in the middle of the Bothnian Bay, and it was a beautiful place to start my internship. In addition to doing basic drop videos and wading points, there were many things to learn in the team. Everyone was assigned their own tasks, and I was responsible for saving the pictures on the hard drives and checking the field forms at the end of the day. Still, everyone did everything, helping others if their workload got too big.
Photo 2. View from the tower of the research station in Ulkokrunni. (Photo: Susanna Greus 2018)
Photo 3. My little field office. (Photo: Susanna Greus 2018).
The heat wave of summer 2018 began when we were at Ulkokrunni, and we got to work in beautiful weather for the rest of the summer. We probably used a tubful of sunscreen during that time. We took videos of the bottom of the sea and did wading points on the shores. The first two weeks I could not recognize the plant species for the life of me. Then, we moved to Simo and by coincidence I was forced to do my first wading points basically by myself. We were supposed to be taking videos, but the water was too shallow so some of the points became wading points. After that, I began to recognize the plants, but I still could not remember the names. So I gave them my own names! Zannichellia palustris became “Bananas”, Stuckenia pectinata “The Big Dill”, and Callitriche hermaphroditica “The Spruce”. Other species I gave more imaginative names that do not translate that well to English but trust me, they were good.
Photo 4. Navigating from Ii to Simo with Noora. (Photo: Suvi Saarnio 2018).
My favorite part of the work was doing the wading points by myself on the SUP board. Even though I enjoy the teamwork, it was nice to get some “me time” in the middle of all the hassle on the field. Also, I tend to get seasick on boats if the wind and waves get too high, so my co-workers were nice enough to let me go SUP boarding whenever the weather was not the best. I sincerely thank the whole team for that. And at the end of the summer I finally knew the real names for most of the species!
Photo 5. Cooling off while doing a wading point on a hot day. And wearing the best suit ever, the PePu! (Photo: Suvi Saarnio 2018).
In case you are wondering about joining the SEAmBOTH team, you definitely should. If not for the work itself, but for the other perks that the team offers. The project leader Essi, for example, makes food every day for everyone. The food is amazing! At the end of the summer, we made a cookbook of her recipes. That’s how great it is. We also had an event called Pookitanssit in Ulkokrunni, where we had good food and danced the whole night in beautiful surroundings. Also, in Keminmaa we had a traditional Finnish Rapujuhla – or Crayfish Party – where we ate crayfish (or artichoke if you were vegetarian), played goofy marine team related games, and sang songs.
If you want to spend your summer outside experiencing the beautiful nature at sea, with a fun and outgoing group of people, eating the best food, and enjoying the Finnish summer, this is the job for you!
Photo 6. Walking on water. (Photo: Suvi Saarnio 2018).
P.S. In Ulkokrunni there are billions of mosquitoes. But for anyone who hates to sleep with thousand mosquitoes, there are mosquito nets hidden in one of the cupboards! Use them, even though the others might give you “princess points” for that.
Photo 7. Enjoying a nice mosquito-free lunch in Maakrunni (apparently the mosquitoes do not follow you to the sea). (Photo: Ville Savilampi 2018).
Written by Susanna Greus, Metsähallitus