|Figure. Samantha Groene in the Rising Tide booth at MACNA 2014.|
My name is Samantha Groene, and I am a biological technician at UF-TAL. I’ve been with the lab for almost two years, but this is my first official introduction on the Rising Tide Conservation blog. This past week, some of you might have seen me in Denver. The annual Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) took place in Denver, Colorado this year, and I had the privilege of representing Rising Tide at the conference!
This year’s MACNA was quite the experience! I met so many wonderful people, made a lot of new contacts, and had an overall great time. MACNA is a great opportunity for Rising Tide to be able to communicate the importance of aquaculture to hobbyists and help foster a better future for the critters that we all love. It was very rewarding raising awareness for Rising Tide — meeting hobbyists, vendors, and exhibitors and sharing with them a cause that is so important for our hobby and our reefs.
I brought with me to MACNA some of our F1 semicircle angelfish to put on display at the Rising Tide booth and at the Boyd Enterprises booth. These fish were some of the stars of the show, and later were raffled off (along with a complete aquarium set-up and other livestock/drygood goodies) to two lucky winners. Of course, there were a lot of other highlights at MACNA. I am sure many of you have heard, but the announcement at MACNA of Karen Brittain’s success rearing the Masked Angelfish (Genicanthus personatus) pretty much stole the spotlight at this year’s conference. However, I will leave it to Karen to apprise you all of the juicy details of that larviculture endeavor.
I would like to thank the wonderful sponsors and people who helped make Rising Tide’s presence at MACNA possible and made the event such a success. Specifically, I would like to thank the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, Boyd Enterprises, the Denver MACNA Committee, and everyone that donated items for the aquariums that we raffled off at MACNA (thank you JBJ, Martin Moe, and A & M Aquaculture!). I really appreciate all of your support and generosity! All of you helped to make MACNA awesome, and I am very grateful for the opportunity that I was given to serve as the Rising Tide Ambassador at this year’s conference.
I am very happy to have a job where I feel like I make a difference in this world for the better, and it was a great pleasure being able to share my work with MACNA.
Until next time!