Our week at FGCU was amazing! We kicked it off by examining some of the oyster reefs that make up Estero Bay. At FTB, BHP, SMK, and SPC we examined biodiversity, depth, and turbidity. To examine the biodiversity and species richness of each site we sent snorkelers to fetch lift nets that had been set out by Dr. Douglas. After these nets were taken out of the water the animals found were taken to the lab for identification. At one of the sites visited we found an oyster restoration net, and on that net was a giant colonial tunicate.
|Image of the oyster reef core sample.|
|Me sorting through one of the samples taken from|
a seagrass bed.
Thursday was our last day in the field, and it was one of my favorite days of our week at FGCU! Dr. Parson began the day with a lecture on tides and currents before sending us out in the field. He sent us out on canoes in pairs of two with a GPS and two grapefruits. We were able to take the canoes to any part of the river we wanted. When we stopped we took a reading of our latitude and longitude, started a timer for ten minutes, and waited to see how far our grapefruit had traveled. After taking ten readings my canoe partner and I headed back to the Vester Marine Lab to do some calculations and map how far and in what direction our grapefruit had traveled. Although the mapping did not go as planned due to calibration/calculation issues I still had an amazing day!
FGCU was awesome, and I am so happy I was able to aid in research on Estero Bay! I cannot wait to see what these last two weeks of Marine Field Studies has in store for me!