Final presentations and celebration

Today the day started with students giving oral presentations outlining the findings for their research.  Their teams also turned in their final papers.  We spent around 2 and half hours discussing our successes, the merits of the various project’s conclusions, challenges faced in research in the marine environment, and how our views have changed as … Keep reading »

Practical Exam, Key West, and weekend rest


The last days have been full with many activities.  On Friday all of the research teams went to the field to collect more data for their projects.  Several hours in the field usually translates to twice as many hours in the lab sorting through samples looking for copepods, nudibranchs, and/or gastropods etc. Saturday morning we … Keep reading »

Snorkeling at the Coral Reef


Thursday morning we had placid waters again, perfect conditions for a snorkeling trip to the reef.  We hired a boat from Keys Marine Lab (KML), an education and research station across the road from our station located here in Layton. Captains Tom and Bill took us out for an entire day of snorkeling. We started … Keep reading »

Research begins!


What a beautiful day!   No wind and lots of sun–perfect for spending the day in the water.  Students began work on their research projects today, visiting their research sites in the morning and early afternoon.  Student groups were at Anne’s Beach studying Fiddler Crab behavior, in the mangrove channels studying sponge re-growth, and at … Keep reading »

Bighty and the Beach

On Monday, we visited two habitat sites.  In the morning we went to the Bight where each research group did a Thalassia sweep to collect nudibranchs.  Nudibranchs are shell-less snails with brilliant colors and extravagant dorsal structures called cerata.  As we pulled the anchor into the boat to leave, we were surprised by two dolphins! … Keep reading »

Snorkeling in seagrass beds & mudflats


Today the weather allowed us to complete two field excursions in both the morning and afternoon.  After a lecture on seagrass ecology, we eagerly loaded up the boats and headed to the seagrass beds for a morning of snorkeling. Much of the morning revolved around becoming comfortable in our new aquatic environment, which included how … Keep reading »

Marine Biology 2015 – Safely in the FL Keys!

The incessant rain and thunder showers cannot quench the energy and excitement among the 18 students who are here in the Florida Keys for the 2015 Marine Biology course.  All the students arrived safely last evening and today we have been spending time in orientation, lab setup, and grocery shopping.  The weather promises to break … Keep reading »

Final Reflections…


I write this from the Miami International Airport.  Yesterday morning students presented their final research presentations – they were excellent and it was evident that students worked very hard on their projects.  We spent the afternoon cleaning the facility and performing minor maintenance and upkeep. In the evening I took Jessica, Michelle, Alex, and Cortney … Keep reading »

Final visit to Triton Flat


Tuesday we woke and said goodbye to Dave Ostergren who returned to Goshen. Most students completed a final trip to Triton Flat for data collection.  A few research groups stayed at the lab and walked to a nearby hard-bottom site.  The weather Tuesday was very windy and the water was choppy – it reminded us … Keep reading »