Sunday, 22 May 2016

And so the journey has begun...

First stop: University of North Florida
Our first day here and we were out on the St. John's River taking dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, and turbidity measurements while collecting water samples to take back to the lab to test for pH, turbidity, color, and chlorophyll A and also capturing phytoplankton to view under the microscope. We learned how the environment changed at the upper river vs closer to the ocean and observed how much human development has affected the river. 
Out on the St. Johns River

Collecting Plankton

Measuring a Blue Crab
5:30am Sampling
Our second/third day consisted of us doing a 24 hour sample study at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Esturine Research Reserve. This study was to learn the environments on either side of the weir, the lake side and the river side, over a 24 hour period. Unfortunately the weather was very bad and we missed a lot of our sample times, but the time we did get was great and we worked as a team. Even though some of the data was missing due to the weather, we could still observe how the environment changed over time and it was a great learning experience watching the change happen. 

Our group at St. Augustine Inlet

Summer Haven "River"
Coquina outcrops

For our fourth day, we got to visit a bunch of beaches and observe their differences. We visited a natural inlet, Matanzas inlet, and an inlet with jetties, St. Augustine Inlet. We observed how human development has taken over dune systems and how bad it really is compared to natural dunes. And we also visited Summer Haven, which was a river that is no longer their and also where the old A1A road used to be. This was my favorite spot to visit because it was really insightful to see for my self what beach erosion looks like and how serious it is. Another beach we visited had coquina outcroppings! I had no previous knowledge of these so I was so amazed. This week at UNF put what I recently learned last semester in my "beach/coastal environments" class into perspective and I got to get visual and real life experience with the topics I learned in class. It was exciting to learn how to use the lab equipment tools and work in the lab with samples that we physically collected. What a great start to this course! 
Thanks Dr. Smith!

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