2016 Day 7: data collection!

Professor’s note: today’s post is by Amanda Badai.

Yay for sleeping in!

First underwater transects

Sifting through algae

 

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Christina and Michelle collecting algae at their quadrat. This is hard work!

Our day started with a much appreciated morning off. This consisted of sleeping in until 7:15 which was just in time for breakfast, sleeping after breakfast, or just chilling. We then ate lunch and prepared for our first day doing research and data collection out in the ocean. At the lab, we got into our groups which are the Halimedas, the Porites, the Diademas, and the Groupers. We grabbed our measuring tape, quadrats and scrapers and headed off to North Point just about a mile up the road. As we started walking, the clouds decided to downpour which was totally fine because we needed to wash our clothes anyway.

 

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One of the quadrats

After the rain died down, we geared up and swam out to the patch reefs. Each group was assigned a patch and we set out our transect lines. We determined the size of each fish, the species of each fish and algae, algal percent cover, the number of fish bites and rugosity. We observed many fish and algae species however trying to figure out the rugosity was a bit tough for all of us since we had to place the measuring tape in the outline of the rocks for half a meter. After about what only felt like a short time, a few hours later, we finished for the evening and headed back to the center.

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Sorting algae by species back at the lab.

After washing up and dinner, we went back to the lab to sort out our algae. We separated them by species, spun them in a fancy salad spinner and then weighed it. We even found some species we haven’t come across before such as Champia parvula, and Polyphysa polyphysoides. All in all today was a great day in getting great experience. Although the techniques weren’t new, it was great to do research in a different climate than we’re used to which will definitely be worthwhile in becoming future marine scientists. 🙂

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