The adventure continues at Florida Gulf Coast University. Our primary focus here was the seagrass and oyster beds of Estero bay. Doctor James Douglas worked with us on Monday and Wednesday, taking samples off the bay floor from several different locations. Monday we retrieved 12 lift nets he had deployed a few days earlier. These were nets attached to a PVC pipe frame and filled with old oyster shells. The idea is to place them in a habitat and leave it, allowing organisms to move in and inhabit the shells. Then after pulling it up you can get a fairly accurate survey of what lives in these ecosystems. After pulling the lift nets we went back to lab and identified what organisms we could. This data gave us a pretty cool picture of what the benthic species composition was like on these oyster reefs. Wednesday was a similar process, except this time instead of using lift nets we directly sampled the bottom using a Vernstine device. We also took small core samples to get an idea of the organisms living under the sediment at each site. The majority of these sites were seagrass or muddy bottom environments. Between the samples taken from these two sites, we got a fairly good impression of the types of organisms living across the bottom of Estero bay.