Sunday, 11 June 2017

Week 3: USF St. Pete!

      My week in downtown St. Pete was a completely new experience for me. The parking and driving was absolutely crazy but the town was pretty, covered in unique and eye captivating street art.
      Tuesday, unfortunately we did not get to go it on the Weatherbird, the boat had some engine problems, but they gave us a tour and then we went on a trip to the Florida Aquarium. We were doing animal behavior profiles and of course enjoying all the animals in their different habitats. Our first animal had to be a bird, to have some consistency and to get the hang of the data sheets. Then we got to pick two more animals to collect data on. I chose the Southern Stingray and then the Doctorfish tang. After we finished we had the rest of the day to explore the aquarium. It was very interesting to visit an aquarium with so many different things I could identify. We even found our way up to the Coral Farm they had on the roof.
      Thursday, was my favorite day we canoed around Weedon island, back into mangrove tunnels. We saw tons on mud crabs and a beautiful canoe trail back into the red mangroves. We stopped at various places in the estuary and back in the mangroves to performed Chem tests. Dissolved Oxygen Test, pH, Nitrogen Test, Phosphorus Test, etc. Scott and I first performed the Acidity Test, which turned my thumbs blue, and then we performed the pH Test. After getting off the water, we went to a pavilion in the park where we shared a nice lunch with a group of middle schoolers, then worked over oyster samples that Casey and Sarah risked life and limb to collect during high tide. When we got back to class we got to see the data from all of our tests and were able to compare the different sites.
    I had a good time at USFSP, the only thing I would change is that we didn't get out to the open ocean. But, things always happen in this field and it's important to understand that no matter how long you plan for a research trip or sampling date, we are all subject to mechanical issues, weather, or other unforeseen problems.

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