By: Chris Pavadore
The senior project required of all APU undergraduates offers students a chance to synthesize years of education in an informative, directed study. The most exciting aspect of this project is that there are no limits as to what can be accomplished. As a senior in the marine biology program, I was interested in learning something new, by extrapolating the knowledge I had acquired in four years and applying it to real scientific studies. With careful insight and research, I came across an organization that gave me a chance of a lifetime in Mossel Bay, South Africa wherein I studied the behavioral characteristics of juvenile white sharks in response to varying chum and bait types.
As part of this study, I made many cage dives with white sharks as long as 4.0 meters, filming and photographing the different behaviors I observed. And although I was only there for just one month, the organization helped me by providing their data collected throughout 2010. I am currently analyzing the data and will present a final paper and lecture at the close of spring 2011. Without the active learning philosophy and the dedication of the faculty and staff, these opportunities would not be possible. If you have dreams to work in the field with white sharks, for instance, or any other topic of interest, let APU help you find out how to achieve your goals.