Students are in the initial throes of developing their own research projects. We had three great presentations with the following topics:
– Effect of Thalassia testudinum and macroalgae percent cover on density of Astraea americanus
– The effects of substrate composition and floral cover on density of Lytechinus variegatus
– Hermit crab (Clibinarius spp) shell preference
Last night, we started brainstorming for our upcoming group projects so that we would be prepared to start preliminary research in the morning. We all met with Ryan last night and were able to get some pointers on how to go about our research today. Regardless of what we did we would still have to find out by trial and error what would work, once we got in the water. We got up and ready for the day and set out to go back to Triton Flat. Before we left the boat each group had another meeting with Ryan before jumping into the water to discuss what we had planned to do after the possible changes from the night before. Thinking through the logistics and feasibility of our projects exposed flaws or possible hiccups that needed tweaking in our methodology. Making these adjustments led to lots of discussion before jumping in. While we were at Triton, many spiny lobsters, rays and large crabs were seen amidst our research projects. Also, we got rained on for the first time, by the rather stormy looking clouds that were looming overhead. After about an hour or so we headed back to the facility for lunch.
After lunch and some quiet time in the house decompressing it was time to work on formalizing our research proposals. We had tested gathered data, hopefully, and we had a paper to write as well as a presentation to prepare that would be openly critiqued by our peers and beloved professor later that night. When dinner was over it was time to present. Each group presented their plan for research. All the presentations went well, with interesting proposals as well as good feedback that hopefully helped each group out in the long run. The night ended with some ice cream Ryan had picked up for us, and great conversations on various topics.
– Oliver Wisseman ’18 Business major