Monday, 6 June 2016

FGCU's Vester Marine Lab

This week at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Vester Marine Lab we learned an array of different things. This week was composed of different professors who study different things and showed/taught us different things. We started off the week with removing old oyster bags from a restoration project over 6 years ago that did not succeed. This activity was interesting to see what lived in the oyster bag but I felt it was more centered on trying to remove as many bags as we can, which isn’t as informative. Then the second day we did coring. This activity was actually a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. Previously I thought geology was very boring but this activity brought to my attention how fascinating it can be to be able to trace the history of the spot and be able to know how the spot looked like so far in the past. The third day we did plankton netting. We took both phytoplankton and zooplankton sample from high up the river then progressively closer to the ocean until the last one was actually in the ocean. This was interesting to see how the species differ so much along the way. Although this activity was pretty interesting, it did help me realize that I don’t want to pursue a career behind a microscope. The last day was my favorite day from this week. On this day we did seagrass quadrats, but we did the quadrats in areas where satellite photos implied that there were seagrass beds from the 2006 photos. What we found from this study is that the seagrass was a lot less abundant than the photo implied from 2006, some quadrats even consisting of no seaweed at all. It was really interesting seeing how the spot that was abundant in seaweed also had much clearer water as well because of the seaweed clearing the water. My favorite part of this day was after the quadrats, we were allowed to explore the seagrass beds and discover all the various species using this habitat. Overall this site was very informative and very interesting, but now I am ready to tackle open ocean in St. Pete!

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