FGCU Vester Marine Field Station
After an activity-filled week in the Estero Bay, I can say whoa...this is going by fast!
We then went to the Horseshoe Keys to do some core sampling! This was lots of fun! Working as a group, we were about to get an awesome sample!
I got to cut the pipe: the most important job ;) I felt pretty BA...
|Credit: Amanda Schaaf|
Day 2 was led by Cheryl Clark of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve who took us to Spring Creek in the Estero Bay to help clean up a failed FGCU oyster reef restoration project. The project was basically taking plastic (?!??) mesh bags, filling them with discarded oyster shells and placing them in the creek around a mangrove island to see if the reef may or may not come back to life. Needless to say, it did not and the those-who-must-not-be-named left an absolute mess.
We collected a total of 230 bags! Try to beat that Cohort 2!
Day 3 was led by Dr. Parsons of FGCU who took us to the Imperial River, around Estero Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico for some plankton trawling. We used two different sized nets to capture zooplankton and phytoplankton which we later looked at under the scope in wet lab.
I found baby jellies in my zooplankton sample!
Day 4 was led by Dr. Douglass of FGCU who took us around Estero Bay to do some ground truthing. Our objective was to take quadrat samples of two different sizes in five different areas where there is supposed to be an abundance of seagrass. This belief was held by aerial photographs taken of the Bay 10(!) years ago. Sadly, we found that most of the seagrass had disappeared.
However, we did find some cool juvenile fish who use the seagrass beds as a refuge, like this
baby puffer fish.
He's so cute!
Thanks to everyone at FGCU VMFS and their interns and grad students for showing us a wonderful time!