Episode 21: How Do You Capture Live, Venomous Lionfish for Scientists?

Meet the Expert: Grant Lockridge, Diving Officer

Grant is the Diving Officer and lead engineering technician for Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama. As the diving officer, Grant is in charge of preparing the dives for scientists who come down to Dauphin Island to conduct research. He goes out and surveys the area in advance of the scientists, sets up a specific location that is most advantageous to their research, and then gathers all of the needed tools and materials for the dives. He ensures the safety of the scientists and all of the crew.

He serves as the logistical, field, and technical expertise for researchers, both from DISL and outside groups. Recently I facilitated the exploration of an underwater cypress forest off the cost of Alabama in a joint field expedition between Northeastern University, University of Utah, and The Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Additionally, I am responsible for the construction of the sensing, data logging, and telemetry components of the WECP buoy associated with the arcos.disl.org monitoring station, as well as designing and constructing all of the necessary waterproof housings.

He is also an instructor at Dauphin Island Sea Lab and AAUS Scientific Diving based courses for undergraduate, graduate, and faculty associated with DISL. Classes include AAUS Scientific Diver, Diver Rescue Accident Management, Nitrox Diving in the Workplace, and Diving First Aid for Professional Divers. I have certified a total of 30 scientific divers since 2015.






What is Dauphin Island Sea Lab?

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab was founded in 1971 by the Alabama legislature to provide marine science programs for many of the state’s colleges and universities. Today, 23 member institutions partner with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to provide studies to undergraduate and graduate students. Since 1971, the DISL mission has expanded to include K-12 education, professional development, and a public aquarium.

You can visit Dauphin Island Sea Lab! The Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab hosts a number of events for the public. The free, twice-monthly Boardwalk Talk program offers the public a chance to engage with the experts at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The Summer Excursion program takes visitors into the habitats studied by our marine scientists, researchers, and students at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.


Research staff Tom Guoba and Grant Lockridge from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab use a box corer, an ocean instrument designed to collect sediment samples, off the coast of Alabama. They will repeat this task 40 to 50 times a day. Image Credit: Paul Harnik



Lionfish are invasive species, which means that they can move in and take over ecosystems that aren’t originally theirs. They don’t have many native predators, which means they can reproduce and expand their populations. Watch this video for more information:





Create some lion fish art, google to see what it looks like, draw or create a digital image or dress up like a lion fish

With your parents permission, send us your picture via email at podcast@solveitforkids.com OR

tag us on our Twitter or Instagram account @kidssolve

If you send in your challenge OR just leave a comment below about the episode, you will be entered into a giveaway to win a FREE copy of the book listed below.



Highlighted book for this episode!

Lionfish by Susan Heinrichs Gray (Cherry Lake Publishing)

The ocean is home to a variety of fascinating animals. Strange Sea Creatures: Lionfish dives in and gives readers a chance to explore this armored predator. This captivating book provides fascinating facts about lionfish, including their spiny skeleton, habitats, food sources, life cycles, and more. Strange Sea Creatures: Lionfish provides an interactive approach to teaching life science. The book introduces basic concepts and ideas while also providing activities and exercises that engage students in processes and skills that are essential to scientific learning and discovery.




Book List:

20 Fun Facts about Lionfish by Heather Moore Niver (Gareth Stevens Publishing)

Lionfish (Blastoff! Readers: Oceans Alive) by Colleen Sexton (Bellweather Media)

Dive In: Swim with Sea Creatures at Their Actual Size by Roxie Munro (Holiday House)

Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact by Jennifer Swanson (NGKids Books)


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