Day 3 on the island, and I think we're all finally getting the hang of this place!
Some of the girls and I were talking, and we were wishing we could be here all summer, not only for the wildlife, but for the amazing learning opportunity and just how great our whole group gets along!
The morning started out with a nice walk near the jetty as the sun rose. As we were watching the waves, a ray jumped out of the water and slapped back down with a loud sound that reminded me of high school pool parties. (someone's always gotta do a bellyflop...) I like the idea of that ray being the one rambunctious show off of his group that likes to hear all the tourists go "oooooh pretty!"
After breakfast we headed out to the reef, and started a new lab! At high tide, we laid out transects to 30 meters, and took videos of the fish abundance along our transects. In my personal blog earlier during my adventures in Australia, I mentioned that I had a hard time figuring out my GoPro. Well, nothing has changed. Some of our footage was a little rough...
We went back to the lab, and analyzed our footage, and recorded it onto the class excel sheet. Following that, we had some free time so I called my mom (which was great--Love you mumsy if you're reading this!) and read some of an Ebook I downloaded in case of any down time during this trip.
We had lunch--which was especially amazing today shout-out to Pat our cook from the heavens--and then went into lecture taught by Ed. During lecture we talked about invertebrates, their taxonomy and a little bit of evolution. Cnidarians, mollusks, annelids, arthropods and echinoderms! My favorite part was talking about cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus) because I think they are so interesting! They are crazy intelligent, and the convergent evolution between their eyes and ours is super cool. (If you have free time, I highly suggest looking up videos on octopus solving complex puzzles).
By the time lecture was done, it was low tide and back out to the reef to collect some more data! It was worlds easier during low tide. I hardly got any saltwater in my mouth compared to the gallon I probably ingested this morning. We went back to the lab and repeated the process from earlier today. After all the data was collected, we individually analyze and find standard deviations/error, make some graphs and write a report about our findings and why it is important.
Lab time was shorter than expected, so I got some extra free time. I walked the beach with Kamp, Tia and Kim hoping to get some free time snorkeling in, but the tide was too low for any good snorkeling. I walked the beach on my own and thought about this amazing opportunity I am truly blessed with, the future, and about how good dinner was going to be.
The last part of tonight was us walking over to the resort and listening to a seminar done by Coral Watch, a citizen science group that monitors coral reefs around the world. It was super interesting, and we are going on a reef walk/snorkeling with them tomorrow so I look forward to learning more about the process and meeting the ambassadors/ambassadors in training.
It's only Day 3, but so much has happened. I can only imagine what the rest of this trip has in store for all of us!
(P.S I've finally started taking pictures and videos of the island so hopefully there will be more than just text on the next blog post...)
I am a Wildlife Science major with a minor in Philosophy at USU. I am passionate about studying and conserving our planet. I love to travel and explore and meet new people. My hobbies include hiking, doodling, yoga and doing my best to make the people around me smile!