To start out the course, my cohort and I started out at the University of North Florida. What I thought was going to be a slow and calm introduction week, it turned out to be packed up with lots of activities and learning! To dive directly into the classes, we spent the first day taking an exhausting swim test! Luckily for me, I was able to learn how to use my swimming fins during this. Following into the next day, we were on our way to a research estuary down in St. Augustine called GTMNERR. There, we were able to participate in actual research the researchers there are conducting. This included digging for Spartina plugs, or smooth chord grass, in order to plant a future living barrier to the marsh.We also flew their drone, which was able to capture photos of distant areas in order to see the effects of sea level rise. Lastly for research, we tested water quality and salinity. This was cool for us because we got to use the actual scientific gear they use. To end out this great day, we went for a nice kayaking tour through the Guana river. Overall, it was a great first week and I am looking forward to the Florida Keys Marine Lab!