Volume 4    Number 4

Getting Close:
ReefNews Underwater Naturalist Tessa Dowell

Sometimes the best way to see the coral reef up close is to swim upside down! ReefNews photographer and underwater naturalist Tessa Dowell shows how it is done in this picture.

Tessa Dowell is a type of oceanographer called an underwater naturalist. Her work includes identifying and photographing marine creatures for ReefNews. Tessa took many of the photographs on the ReefNews website.

"I learned to be a scuba diver for the adventure," said Tessa. "Even though the coral reef is a busy place with fish swimming everywhere and creatures struggling to survive, swimming near the reef seems very peaceful. I like the sensation of floating among all of those creatures, watching what they are doing."

"To be a good scuba diver, you have to be in control as you float near the reef. Otherwise, you could crash into the reef and crush the beautiful creatures you went there to see. The better you get, the closer you can approach the reef, and soon you realize that there is something living in every little hole. I like using a closeup camera to photograph those tiny animals."

Tessa Dowell took the photo of the Spaghetti Coral in this issue of e-ReefNews. Here are a few other ReefNews sites with some of Tessa's favorite photographs:
   Christmas-Tree Worm

See some other (and better) pictures of Tessa Dowell at http://www.reefnews.com/reefnews/staff/tessa.html



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