This week at The University of South Florida Saint Pete we didn’t get to go out on The Weather Bird II due to mechanical issues on the boat, but it’s okay because Dr. Judkins did a great job coming up with alternative assignments for us to do instead. Such as identifying squid and open ocean organisms, observing animal behavior at the Florida aquarium in Tampa, collecting phytoplankton in the bay next to the school, and chemical sampling at Weedon Island in a mangrove estuary.
My favorite day this week would have to be the aquarium because something I’m really interested in is studying organisms behavior. While we were at the aquarium I got to observe two sea turtles, one of them didn’t have its front two fins and something was wrong with the other ones back fin where it couldn’t use it to swim. It was interesting to see how these turtles learned to cope with this disability, but I’m assuming they won’t be released back into the wild because it’d be extremely difficult for them to survive and escape from predators. I also really enjoyed watching the jellyfish, although I couldn’t really observe their behavior considering they’re plankton and just float and drift within the water current, but they were eating at the time which was really cool.
None of the days this week were too challenging but if i had to choose one thing that was the toughest it would probably be kayaking through the rain and against the wind on Thursday morning. Overall I gained a excellent amount of useful skills this week whether we were out in the open ocean or not.