Sunday, 18 June 2017

Final Week: UWF

Searching for inshore seabirds.
     The week at UWF was like no other. We studied freshwater systems and beach geomorphology. On Monday, we travelled around the city with Dr. Jane Caffrey and Dr. Jeff Eble taking samples of water at multiple sites and measurements using the YSI. The next day we travelled around the city again, but this time we specifically looked at Carpenter Creek and how the development of urban areas, such as a Publix parking lot, residential neighborhoods, and bridges, affected the water flow and quality. Barbara Albrecht was nice enough to take us to many different sites of the creek and talk about the dangers that humans have on the natural ecosystem. We studied and looked for inshore seabirds on Wednesday. We also had to look for hidden transmitters on the beach using an H antenna and frequencies. Afterwards, we went to a park to collect more water samples as well as do percent coverage with the seagrass beds. Thursday we learned about beach geomorphology and how, over time, Santa Rosa Island has been shifting from East to West. It was fascinating because I knew that land shifted over time, but did not know how it was measured. The same day we went on a tour at the EPA lab. It was very informative and a wonderful experience to see all of the different environmental projects that go on in the federal government. It was a great week and I am glad to have ended the trip on a high note.
FIO family in one of the two vans at UWF.
     These past five weeks have been some of the best I have had in my short time here on Earth. I loved that I was able to circumnavigate all around Florida and realize how precious our ecosystems really are. The effect us humans have on them can easily be negative, but if we try hard enough and educate the people around us, we just might be able to save the Earth. I have made some marvelous friends and created amazing memories. This trip could not have come at a better time for me. It truly lifted my spirits and helped me realize what is important in life. I was able to hear life stories from a broad range of people. They guided me towards what I need to do to accomplish my goals. They also taught me that not everyone will take the same path in life and that it is okay to take the long, scenic journey to one's destination. I am beyond happy that I was a part of this course and will never forget it.

FIO family at the Rock Quarry in the Keys.

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