This week was a little shorter than the past due to Memorial Day but was still an exiting week at a new location. Each day was taught by a different instructor that specialized in a different field of study. Tuesday we visited a failed oyster restoration sight. In an effort to restore the oyster population to Estero Bay, bags of shells were placed in oyster habitat areas in hopes that they would settle there. Each of the bags are made of plastic so they needed to be cleaned up if the restoration sight was unsuccessful. We also observed a bird sanctuary island that housed many different types of birds that were raising their young.
Wednesday was geology day. As a marine field coarse we don't study much about land. it was interesting to look at other aspects of science as well. We took a core sample of a mangrove island to study what the environment had been like for the past 3000 years. Our group also toured an old Calusa Native American Island called Mound Key. We were able to learn about the ways in which the Calusa used shells as tools.
Thursday was all about plankton! Our group set off in boats to collect zooplankton and phytoplankton samples from all around Estero Bay and the open ocean. We brought them back to the lab to look at and compare our samples from each location. It was obvious after looking at them that phytoplankton were way cooler! (Your welcome Dr. Parsons!)
Friday was our snorkeling day. We learned about seagrasses and how they play an important role in the ecosystem of Estero Bay. We visited different locations and documented the different sea grasses that we found. We were also able to see some pretty cool organisms during our snorkels.
Thank you for the amazing week FGCU! Hope to visit soon!