You are here

My Co-op with Global Vision International

April 15, 2015

About Me 

My name is Adam Crimmins and I am a fourth year mechanical engineering student here at Northeastern. I love the outdoors and enjoy scuba diving, snowboarding, hiking and traveling. I have completed two of my three co-ops so far and for my second co-op, I really wanted to do something adventurous. I wanted to explore different ways of incorporating engineering into my love for the marine environment. I decided to create my own co-op and participate in a marine conservation effort through Global Vision International. 

My Co-op with Global Vision International 

I traveled down to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, to monitor the coral reefs off the coast of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve. For three months I lived in a rundown fishing village, about an hour away from the closest town, with 20 other volunteers and around 10 staff members. We did not have access to running water, which meant we had to take bucket showers, use bucket flush toilets and wash our food in buckets… different buckets of course. We had very limited electricity, and neither had access to Wi-Fi nor cell phone reception. We were essentially off the grid and the only ones living on the reserve for miles. It was awesome!

The main objective of this expedition was to collect data on which species of corals and fish were present in the reef ecosystem off the coast of the Biosphere Reserve. After learning the various species of corals and fish present in the area, and being trained on how to properly collect data about these animals, we observed and monitored the reef ecosystem by scuba diving and recording our sightings. Additionally, we supplemented the growth of an endangered sea turtle population by marking and monitoring sea turtle nests, then helping the newly hatched baby turtles make it to the surf unharmed by predators. We also raised awareness in local communities about the deteriorating reef ecosystem and the fading sea turtle population.

Some secondary objectives of this expedition included, preforming weekly beach cleans to chip away at the thousands of pounds of washed up rubbish along the coast of the biosphere reserve, bird watching to monitor which species of birds inhabit the reserve, lionfish spearfishing to reduce the numbers of a flourishing invasive species, and the never-ending battle to fix up around our base camp. I additionally participated in a leadership internship and got certified as both an emergency first responder and a rescue scuba diver.

For me, this trip was the experience of a lifetime and above all it showed me that if you really want something, all you have to do is just go out and make it happen. The insight I gained from this trip led me to pursue and land my dream co-op this spring. It introduced me to life-long friends and opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed. Most importantly, this trip showed me that there are endless applications for engineering, and all I need to do is pursue whichever career path will make me happiest.

Hope you enjoy the video(s)!