Monday, 30 May 2016

Week 2: FGCU Vester Marine Field Station

Week 2 was another field intensive week. The week started off by visiting Mound Key, and archeological site where the ancient Calusa native americans created the islands by depositing shell, pottery and bone fragments that raised 30 feet above the water's surface. After visiting Mound Key we took a core sample from the Horseshoe Keys with Dr. Savarese . This was the first time I had ever done a core and it was so interesting to see the history within the core sample, which was approximately 4,000 years old. 
Taking a core sample. 
Our first core!! 










Inside the core sample.  
Day two was a look into what the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve administration does, which included cleaning up an oyster restoration project that didn't take and learning about the rookeries in the bay and how they take population estimates. Cleaning up the old oyster project was like a scavenger hunt. The water was so clouded with silt that it made it impossible to see and you had to blindly feel around with your feet for the bags containing oyster shells. We ended up collecting over 200 bags!!
MK, Sydney, and I with our catches. 

Laura and I with a full bag. 
Wednesday was the plankton day with Dr. Parsons. We started way up the Imperial river to and took plankton trawl samples periodically in the estuary on our way out to the Gulf of Mexico. After a long morning on the boat we went back to the lab and counted the different organisms found at each site, we then compared the sites by calculating QS values.

Our last day in the field was spent measuring seagrass coverage and diversity in the Estero estuary with Dr. Douglass. We used quadrats and a Quadzilla to estimate density by quantifying the seagrass fell in out 1 meter squares. The very turbid water again made it difficult to see, I ended up have to get inches away from quadrat just to see anything. 

Trying not to lose my booties






Photo Credit: Corey  Corrick

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