Sunday, 12 June 2016

A note-a-bull week

Our week at USFSP went a lot better than expected, seeing as how we started out battling tropical storm Colin and walking to class in the rain. However, the rain and flooding quickly subsided so by the second day we were continuing as planned. The second day after morning lectures the class went to the Florida aquarium to learn a little about animal behavior analysis. This was a great experience for me personally because I have always had an interest in animal behavior and it was great to get a glimpse into what it involves even if at just surface levels. Wednesday was another amazing experience. We spent the day on the research vessel the Weatherbird II. The full day on the boat went absolutely perfect as far as weather is concerned, especially when you consider that Colin was tormenting us just days before. My favorite sampling method that we got to experience on the boat was the dredge. It was simply incredible to pull up a little bit of the world below (though a little sad to pull it up). I did a lot of sorting of corals and sponges, I only sorted them into general categories because the sponges were a little difficult to identify at times, some looked so similar it was hard to tell they were actually different. on Friday we all asked a research question and used all the data from not only our group, but the groups for the past 2 years as well. This process was surprisingly the biggest challenge for me. At first I was super excited and asked way too broad a question, this I learned is better when on a longer time frame to compare data. My partner and I made a bunch of graphs that it turned out we didn’t need. We had to last minute redo our entire mini presentation. The process was stressful but I learned a lot about data analysis, and even though it seems silly I also learned a lot about question asking. This was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I can’t believe we are on our last week already!

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