Sunday, 29 May 2016

FIO week 2 Vester Field Station

Week two at Vester was a blast! We started off the week going out on the boats to take sediment core samples near Mound Key. We learned about Mound Key and its historical aspect, then went and became geologists for the day. After the core was collected and brought back we were able to decipher its hidden messages to us about sea level rise. learning about transgression and regressions proved to be quite fun, and at the very bottom of our core was around 4000 year old mangrove peat.

Each day besides Friday was spent out on a boat and learning about the Estero Bay. Every single one of those days we saw dolphins and sometimes we saw the occasional manatee. Exciting right? the second day we learned about the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve (EBAP) from a guest speaker who works with them. Their goals are to protect the EBAP's natural resources and natural conditions, while keeping it safe for public use. Wednesday was Dr. Parsons phytoplankton day where we collected phytoplankton and zooplankton at multiple different sites. They were taken back to the lab and looked at under microscopes. Might not sound too exciting but this is what I love! Actually being able to see these organisms when normally you can't is very fascinating to me.

Thursday was all about the seagrass, and thanks to Dr. Douglass we had a blast learning about it. We talked about its importance, its needs, whats harming it, and how to monitor it. Then we went out on the boat to some different sites where ten years ago reported to have seagrass. what we found at some of those sites was not seagrass and this brought up an important questions. Is seagrass declining? How can we monitor it and protect/preserve it?

Looking forward to what is next.

-Antonio Aidan Arruza

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