I knew going into this that this course was going to be a once in a lifetime experience. I also knew that it was going to be filled with opportunities to learn, grow, and also to face challenges. As we end our first week, I can gladly say that so far, it has lived up to expectations. I arrived at UNF on Saturday. I was greeted with new and friendly faces. We were all teeming with excitement about what the week might bring.
Sunday morning was our first introduction to our amazing instructor, Dr. Kelly Smith. She gave us an opportunity to introduce ourselves to one another, as well as a chance to get familiarized with the schedule for the week. After our small breakfast together, we had to do a swim test to test our swimming capabilities and our snorkel equipment. After our little dip in the pool, we were greeted with a presentation from Carissa King, a graduate student from UNF. Her presentation gave us some insight into what we might experience tomorrow, as well as a look into her research on the effects of sound on local dolphin populations.
|We used hydrophones to listen to any natural or anthropogenic|
sounds in the river.
|My favorite find of the day, a Mottled Shore Crab.|
|Our GA, Casey, tells us about this young Scalloped Hammerhead.|
|We measured the mangroves for height, branch diameter,|
and canopy width.
Overall, this first week has been so much more than I could have imagined. While I am only scratching the surface, I have been able to get a glimpse into the daily lives of marine scientists. While it may seem strange, I am also quite grateful that we ran into a few challenges along the way. Not every day in the life of a marine scientist goes smoothly, in fact, it doesn't very often. I enjoyed running into obstacles and being forced to overcome them as a team. Even though it has only been a week, I have learned so much. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to see what our adventures bring us in the weeks to come. Next week, we are headed to the Florida Keys, which I anticipate will be my favorite stop along the way.