Author Archives: ellissurf

How much does it cost to count fish?

So all Bob does is float around in the Florida Keys counting fish, how expensive could that be? Well, I can assure you, it ain’t cheap. Here’s a little rundown on what it costs me to do my research each summer:

  • Everyday that I spend on the water costs approximately $100. This includes boat rental, gas, ice, and bait if we need to catch fish. Last summer I was down in the Keys from mid-May through June and used the boat 30 total days.
  • Travel to and from the Keys, a 2600 mile round-trip from north Florida, costs about $250 each way.
  • Every other day we have to refill our SCUBA tanks at $4 a pop. Last summer we filled up 95 SCUBA tanks.
  • Lodging runs about $250 per week. This summer I hope to stay in the field for at least 6 weeks.
  • Other miscellaneous supplies (e.g. dive gear, fishing gear, slates, jars, etc.) usually costs another $300-$400 every summer.

At the end of the day, a full field season can cost me as much as $5K! Last year I was awarded two grants to pay for my research: one from the PADI Foundation and the other from the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. This year I will be paying for my research trip myself, mostly from a stipend I got from a research cruise I went on last fall (you can check out pictures from that trip here) and I’ll supplement that with whatever I can raise through SciFlies. If you’d like to sponsor my research, maybe buy me some SCUBA tank fills or a day on the boat, you can do so by clicking here.

So now you know what it  to do research. Even though it is expensive, and can be difficult, stressful, and even painful at times there is nothing else I’d rather be doing!

Red grouper: prairie dogs of the sea?

Currently I am involved with a very exciting new fundraising initiative called SciFlies. This group is bringing science to the people and allowing for scientific research projects to be directly funded by the general citizenry.

My project can be found here. Please take a look and consider donating.

Thanks!