So long Benjamin and good luck!

Benjamin Al - with Seabotix ROV

Our first long term international intern, Benjamin Al from Munich Germany, left today. Ben, we wish you well in your future. it has been great hosting you.  Above: Ben with our new Seabotix ROV on the deck of the Chetlo.

Ben arrived in August from Germany as a volunteer intern from the bioengineering program at Hochschule Muenchen and has been with us for five interesting months. Ben has been a great member of the team and made some valuable contributions.

Some excerpts from his intern evaluation:

During the five months that Benjamin has been at the station he has excelled in his performance and set a very high standard for students who may come after him.  Benjamin has worked diligently and taken responsibility for a variety of projects including, but not limited to the following:

  • Commissioning, maintenance and development of technician standard operating practices (SOP) for Beckman Coulter Counter, Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter and HACH DR5000 Spectrophotometer.
  • Worked with VIU Information Technologists and the US based organization NANOOS.ORG to program and link YSI5200 oceanographic monitoring equipment to deliver real-time ocean acidification monitoring information to web. Calibration and maintenance of same.
  • Researched and developed spectrophotometric monitoring program of incoming seawater system and prepared manuals for student usage.
  • Researched theory for operation of Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter and prepared background review documents for Station usage.
  • Assembly and configuration of Seabotix ROV for marine use, manufacturer liaison and troubleshooting.  Led peer training and deployment on research vessel.
  • Participated in a variety of field and laboratory projects for senior researchers as technician assistant.

But perhaps more importantly Ben shared his culture (and dry humor) with our Canadian Students and in return, our students irreparably damaged his otherwise great formal command of the English language with important Canadian words like “boondoggle”, “shenanigans” and “skookum” as well as expressions like “get your ducks in a row” and the list goes on.  The VIU Outdoor Rec program introduced Ben to the beaches of Tofino and the pleasures of trekking in the pouring rain.   Ben saw Killer whales up close at least twice and came to understand that outdoor culture and wildlife is just part of being on Vancouver Island.  We made him purchase hiking boots on his first day here.  Even though Ben was not on campus, he home-stayed in Nanaimo (Thanks Mackenzie!) and participated in the social life of the VIU International Student community.

We think Ben has a very bright future and we are pleased that we were able to be part of his education.

Geoduck Planting 13.08.19

Ben helping plant Geoduck clams on probably his second week and wondering what he was getting into.
Geoduck Planting 13.08.19
Part of the summer team.

A truckload
Loading the flatdeck with ROV Gear – “such big trucks..”


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