Waterlust’s ‘Wetlab’ Video Highlights UM’s Masters of Professional Science (MPS) Program


Been wondering what our Masters of Professional Science (MPS) students are up to? The University of Miami’s student-run Waterlust Project decided to show you!  The team created a GoPro film that highlights a few of the amazing research and internship opportunities available.

The new ‘Wetlab’ video was GoPro’s ‘Video of the Week’ last week! 

Launched in 2012, The Waterlust Project has reached more than half a million people with its 11 short films on a variety of ocean-related topics that focus on what water means to us. Their films offer a juxtaposition of academic achievement and artistic creativity that embodies the University as a whole.

Over at Waterlust we decided to produce a short film that captured some of the unique perspectives that graduate students get to experience here at RSMAS. We especially wanted to highlight the Master of Professional Science program in hopes of inspiring up-and-coming students to study the ocean. We searched around campus for things to film and were met with enthusiasm and smiles wherever we went. We lurked on lab groups, loaned cameras to field teams, brought cameras into classrooms, and went into the field ourselves. Passion, dedication, and a desire to find answers was everywhere we turned. We want to thank everybody who helped to make this film. Thank you for making RSMAS the coolest place to go to school.

– Patrick + The Waterlust Project Crew


RSMAS Students Help with Manatee Physicals

There is something about wresting with your siblings after school as a child that is so fun and exhilarating. Now, as I volunteer at the manatee health assessment in Crystal River by capturing and handling manatees, I am brought back to those same feelings I had as a child. The manatee health assessments at Crystal River are led by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Sirenia Project using the required permits, with personnel from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the University of Florida and many others. These health assessments are a tool for many research projects and serve as a benchmark for the standard health of manatees – think of them as manatee physicals. Part of the manatee health assessment involves netting a manatee, bringing it on the beach, and performing medical tests such body weight, oral temperature, heart rate, blood samples, ultrasound of the heart, ultrasound of fat thickness, and biopsies, before releasing it back into the water.

Helping with a manatee health assessment

It may sound easy because most of us think of manatees as these slow creatures. However, they are extremely powerful once on land and can whip their flukes with force. I spent most of my time trying to wrestle a manatee so it would calm down and allow veterinarians to perform the tests.

Some of the Marine Mammal Management students

After helping with these assessments in the past, I was excited this time to actually assist with some of the procedures, including morphometrics, CO2 measurements and oxygen support. Manatee health assessments can be exhausting but totally worth the effort. It was a great way to interact with such an incredible animal, and to be up close and personal with an endangered species was truly amazing.

Joy Middleton
Master of Professional Science student – Marine Mammal Management
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