Sunday, 12 June 2016

Week at UWF

This past week was spent exploring different habitats around Pensacola. On Monday we toured an uplands habitat and learned about the importance of long leaf pine forests and the differences between healthy and unhealthy rivers and creeks. I was surprised to learn that prescribed burning plays a key role in the health of long leaf forests and that the plants are adapted to survive such fires. On Tuesday we learned about how groundwater interacts with the Gulf water. We assisted in a research project that tracks groundwater seepage using radioactive radon, which can be more easily traced due to its short half life. On Wednesday we explored a seagrass bed and participated in a research project focusing on seagrass monitoring and health. One of the tasks I got to do was collect cores of Thalassia and Halodule, which involved me trying to push a plastic tube into the sand while being pushed underwater by my groupmate. On Thursday we measured beach geomorphology, including landscape profiling, vegetation mapping, and water flow. My favorite task was throwing a grapefruit into the water and seeing how long it took to travel down the beach. On Friday we traveled to dune lakes, which are freshwater lakes that border sand dunes and occasionally come into contact with the Gulf. We got to take a hike down the beach, splash in the ocean, and even see a seaturtle nest. The week was finished off with a group trip to the Wahoos baseball game, which we ended up winning at the last minute! Overall I had a lot of fun learning about an area of Florida I was previously unfamiliar with.

an example of a healthy upland creek
(courtesy of Corey Corrick)
me being "drowned"
(courtesy of Corey Corrick)
measuring water velocity with a grapefruit
(courtesy of Ashley Ebersole)

a green seaturtle nest
(courtesy of Corey Corrick)


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