|Our last group photo from the dune lakes!|
Our Final Week at UWF
Day 1 we hiked in Blackwater River State Forest and learned about upland forest management and watershed management. After a hot afternoon of hiking, we got to swim in the creek. We then observed and learned the differences of a healthy creek seen in the state park vs an impacted creek located downtown. Day 2 we helped some grad students with their project of detecting Radon 220 to locate the spatial variability of cold seeps. We used a device called the Rad 7, which originally was used to detect Radon 220 in the atmosphere but they modified it to convert water to gas in order to detect the Radon 220 in the water where the quadrant was placed. From different locations along the shore, we took water samples, which we filtered at the site, and also took core samples. This was a great experience to work along grad students and to know that our day in the field went to help better their project. Day 3 we went to Santa Rosa Sound to survey the seagrass beds. My favorite part was working with another grad student with the biogeochemistry aspect. We collected pore water from under the seagrass beds that were then taken to the lab to test for what nutrients were found. Day 4 we studied beach geomorphology. Along each transect. we used a survey camera and a compactible measuring stick to generate a beach profile and identified the vegetation through out the dunes down to the shore line. We also determined the speed of the longshore current by throwing a grapefruit into the ocean while timing its distance till it got to the next transect. Day 5, over last day of the trip, we got to kayak in one of the dune lakes that are a rare habitat. I didn't know about dune lakes so this was a very exciting experience for me. We kayaked up and down the lake collecting water quality data at different depths. The dune lake is mostly freshwater, but some have an opening to the ocean, which creates for a salt wedge in the dune lake. This was seen with the data collected. This week consisted of great experiences in a variety of fields. I loved that we got to work along side more grad students. Thanks Dr. Eble!