Saturday, 4 June 2016

Spartina Spartans takes USFSP!

With a four day week instead of the usual five, we had a very jam packed week at University of South Florida at St. Petersburg. With the week being so short and including a 13 hour boat ride on the RV Weatherbird II, this week went by so fast!!! This open ocean week with Dr. Judkins, was fantastic and I feel like I learned so much. One thing that I thought was interesting was comparing what organisms were found in the pelagic region (the water column) and the benthic region (the bottom). I never knew how long it takes to actually collect this data and then sort it to then be identified. The challenging part to this was identifying for me. I know my basic fish and sand dollars, but knowing the specific species or to tell the difference between two crabs or identifying shells was very difficult. But now I feel like I have come out knowing so many species! I am definitely annoying my friends and family with everything I point out and identify at the beach! My favorite part this week was definitely going out on the RV Weatherbird II. It was a long 13 hours, and we were all super tired coming back to campus around 2 am, but it was so worth it. The organisms were so cool, I learned so much, we saw so many dolphin, and the crew was amazing! Also the food was so delicious!! I wish we could have done more on the boat and the week lasted longer, but I am looking forward to our next stop to University of West Florida in Pensacola!

Spending the wee hours of the night sorting the organisms
The Dredge Team putting the sample in water buckets
Me at 1:00 am
The pod of dolphins swam with us for a while!!!!

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