so, what have i done today? well, i have filed three permit applications. the number of permits required to do research in a state or national park is utterly ridiculous. i'm doing resesarch in three parks, two are florida state parks, and one is a national park. so, that means i should need three research permits, right?
you guessed it! that's wrong. i need SIX permits to collect seagrass in three parks. why? i have no idea. and it really doesn't make sense to me that i have to file a permit application with the florida department of the army. what does the army have to do with my research? nothing! and the vast majority of the permit application doesn't apply to my study. it sounds like it's more appropriate for someone who wants to build a pier or a jetty or something big and potentially destructive. i want to dig a few holes that will fill in within a week and put some cages out for two weeks. ahh! oh, and i had to fill out two of those stupid army permit thingies, one for each state park. it's a good thing that those applications were short. also, i filed them jointly with another chica here at the sea lab, so it was less work for the two of us. plus, i need permits from the parks themselves so i don't have to pay the entrance fees every time i have to go over there. oh, and then i need a permit from the florida fish and wildlife conservation commission to allow me to do the actual collecting of the organisms. that one at least makes sense.
the permit that has been the biggest pain in my ass is the one to collect at the gulf islands national seashore. that one i had to write a proposal for, and man are they ever picky. they want some serious detail. so i took the relevant parts of my prospectus and added tons of detail, plus all of the additional sections required by the national park service. whew. that was time consuming... but i finally finished it. i got everything submitted today, and hopefully if i keep bugging the contact guy for this area, it won't take forever to push it through.
and that, my friends, is what i have been up to. exciting stuff, eh?