Saturday May 4, 2019
In our first class of the day we learned about sponges. Here in the Keys at the hardbottom site (where there is little soft sediment and sand) we visited there was an abundance of Spheciospongia vesparium (loggerhead sponge), Ircinia campera (vase sponge) and Gorgonians (sea whips and sea fans). At this site we were able to see differing sizes of these sponges as well as the other organisms that use them as a home and/or refuge, such as cowfish, other smaller fish and spiny lobster (Panulirus argus).
After our second class about mangroves, a vital organism in the community we are in for filtering the water, helping with soil formation and providing a habitat for other organisms, we had some “free time” to catch up on our field journals and species account.
We formed research groups today as well. These groups are the people we will be working with for the rest of our time here on a research study of our choice in regards to marine systems. Conversations were started about possible research topics and I can’t wait to dive in and conduct some of my own research in this new environment.
– Alyssa Arella, 2019 Biology & Psychology