Sunday, 19 June 2016

Goodbye UWF and FIO

The final week comes to a close, but ended on a high note at the University of West Florida. While the mornings where the earliest we've had yet, we got to see some unique habitats that were quite different from the rest of the course, as well as talk about some of the non-biological aspects of Marine Science. We began our week with a hike through Pensacola's large forestry reserve, learning about how the area is a watershed for all of western Florida and even parts of Alabama. We walked through one of the reserves many seeps, or areas of lower elevation that catch large amounts of runoff and store it just under the surface.
Next was testing one of the many bayside beaches for radioactive isotopes that indicated the presence of underground seeps, places where water wells up after having sometimes traveled through several states. We then toured the Environmental Protection Agencies lab that services the entire Southeast United States, seeing the different environment a federally funded lab offers. The third day, for what parts the rain wasn't drowning us, was spent testing more water samples with some different equipment like the PAR sensor, which reads photosynthetic light levels.
We also collected and measured seagrass samples. The fourth day was utilizing several land surveying techniques to analyze several decades old plots on a sandbar beach. Finally, our last day was spent canoeing on and exploring the extremely rare dune lake environment found in Pensacola.

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