Beginnings of the Research Process

At this point, I have not really been able to formally begin my research, as I had some trouble submitting information to the Protection of Human Subjects Committee.  My project has now been approved, and I am definitely prepared to go through that process if I ever need to again!  I have, however, been involved in some related activities, including volunteering at the Waterman’s Museum.

The Waterman’s Museum is a museum on the waterfront in Yorktown, Virginia, dedicated to telling the story of any waterman that works on the Chesapeake Bay (a waterman is defined as anyone who makes a living working on the water).  The Museum itself tells the story of Chesapeake Bay watermen from the time of Jamestown in the 1600s up through the present day.  Although the Chesapeake Bay watershed is the largest watershed in the United States (a significant fact in my mind), the museum is struggling in visitation.   The staff is working to reverse this paradox by renovating the museum and conducting activities for both adults and children, including a summer Pirate Camp.

By volunteering at the Waterman’s Museum, I have been able to learn more about the people who call themselves watermen and the science of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  I have also been able to connect my experience with my summer research theme of education, as I have worked with children from elementary schools in Gloucester that will hopefully take part in the watermen’s heritage day that I plan to implement in Gloucester County Public Schools this fall.  The understanding I have gained at the Watermen’s Museum will undoubtedly provide me with a firm foundation as I begin interviewing people who call the Chesapeake Bay home.