My first time in the Florida panhandle was so incredibly awesome! The weather was beautiful, the trips and activities were so fun, the professors were so nice, and the beaches/water was incredible!!!
Monday we went to check out Blackwater State Forest to practice our ability to assess water quality and to learn about upland forest management. I found it interesting that people have houses in the middle of a state park that has to be burned every 2-3 years in order to keep a natural burn and growth cycle.
|Thank you Senior Forester, Ian Stone, for a great woodland tour!!|
Tuesday was packed with activities. In the morning we preformed water and sediment sampling at Scenic Bluffs. I learned how to use different types of lab equipment and research methods, which is so cool and valuable, and also how you can use Radon 220 to pin point where groundwater discharge is!! In the afternoon we got to tour the EPA where different experiments were going on and more information on the tools and devices used in the field, like the benthic camera!
Wednesday was spent at the Gulf Islands National Seashore with Barbara Albrecht and UWF graduate student Rachel Capps. We did seagrass surveys, caught some crabs, took some sediment cores, and saw how the DO, light level, and more changed when moving on and off a seagrass bed. The pizza party afterwards was a very nice touch to such a fun day!
Thursday was AWESOME. We went to the Santa Rosa Barrier Island and mapped out the geomorphology of the beach. My favorite thing to learn how to do was using the Engineer's Level to get a pretty accurate measurement to map out the shape to the beach from the water to the road. The beach itself was BEAUTIFUL and the water breaks were so perfect to hang out and to cool off.
The last day we went to the famous "dune lakes." There are only dune lakes in Australia, Madagascar, New Zealand, and the west coast of the U.S. It was so cool to see the only dune lakes in Florida, what a jewel. I also got to see my first turtle tracks! They were from a green mama sea turle who had just laid a nest that morning!! The waters and beaches were also very very beautiful! I'm happy we got to see how the fresh lake water flows into the Gulf after a storm. That last day we also went to a baseball game, so fun to spend some time with everyone not in a class setting, even though our "class setting" is my favorite place to be, the water!
Thank you Dr. Ebel and Dr. Jeffrey for an AMAZING week I will not forget!!
Also thank you Corey Corrick for all of the pictures above!