Day 8: scraping algae, taking names (literally)

our group in front of beautiful Fernandez Bay - also one of our study sites!

our group in front of beautiful Fernandez Bay – also one of our study sites!

Today’s post is by Kristen Wexler:

Today we had another successful day of carrying out our studies and enjoying the beauty that this island has to offer. Shortly after breakfast this morning, we grabbed our equipment and headed out to complete our second day of research. Along the way to our destination, we took some time to make a few pit stops along with stopping for a few photo-ops. After this we continued on to Fernandez Bay, where we set up our transects and began to collect our data. Following the same procedures as yesterday, each group laid out a transect and placed a quadrat down at random distances along it. At each place we took note of any herbivorous fish, the percent algal coverage, and then finally scraped off the algae within one section of the quadrat to obtain the wet weight of each species found in the location.

scraping algae, taking names...Kristen Wexler and Gaitlyn Malone collecting algae from their quadrat. It turns out that this is harder than it looks!

scraping algae, taking names…Kristen Wexler and Gaitlyn Malone collecting algae from their quadrat. It turns out that this is harder than it looks!

Once the field portion of our work was completed for the day we loaded everything back onto the truck and headed to Landfall Park for lunch, which is one of the places where it is believed that Columbus first landed. After eating we headed over to Telephone pole reef for another snorkel. During the snorkel we saw a lot of similar organisms as we had previously in addition to a few new interesting organisms, including a small squid and a large Caribbean Spiny Lobster.

After we headed back to Gerace, we quickly cleaned up before going to the lab to determine the wet weight of each species of algae that was collected during our research. Taking a short break for dinner and some relaxation time we returned to the lab later to finish imputing and organizing our data from today. After all our work for the day was completed we returned to our rooms to lay down and get some once again much needed sleep.

Caribbean Spiney Lobster

Caribbean Spiney Lobster

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