Saturday, 21 May 2016

UNF Week 1

So our week one stop was at UNF in Jacksonville, Fl. I was born and raised in Jax but I had never seen it like this before. Our first day was dedicated to the St. John's River. We saw a ton of dolphins which was amazing. But I also was able to learn different water sampling techniques. For example, I am now a YSI and seine sampling expert. Next on the schedule was our 24 hour sampling. At first I was pretty nervous about it but it turned out amazing. Dr. Hackney, Dr. Smith, and Ruthie were there to teach us how to identify several organisms. They were so knowledgeable and I absolutely loved just sitting by the water talking to Dr. Hackney and just listening to everything he could teach me. It was wonderful. Unfortunately we were disrupted by rain so we didn't get much data overnight but that meant SLEEP. We saw a shark at one point which was pretty great. I loved seeing all the different aquatic and terrestrial species interacting together in one ecosystem. Then we went on to learn about beaches with Dr. Hackney. Yet again, he was amazing. He just had so much to say and every bit of it was interesting and he had an answer to every question I had. He is such an amazing teacher because he enjoys talking with you. When it was time to all come together and complete our lab report we all wanted to fall into a semi-coma and sleep for days. But, we got it done and we worked like one heck of a team. We all came together and did so well and I am very proud to be in the group that I am. Things have been so busy and we'e been having so much fun it feels like the outside world is gone! Out next stop is the Keys (which I'm already here) and I can't wait to learn all about coral and fish species! Thank you so much UNF staff, it was such a great experience.
Side note: I went diving today and saw a sea turtle. That is all.

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