Yesterday was our last day of field work in Carmel, our last day at the lab in Monterey and Marley and I are leaving this morning from Pacific Grove. We were really busy yesterday, which isn't very different from our everyday normal, but instead of collecting samples and counting them and trying to keep things straight and organized, we were removing all of our equipment off of the beach and packing up the lab equipment and playing tetris with trying to fit everything into Alan and Marley's cars. After we finished loading everything off of the beach Alan accidentally locked his keys in his car (which was actually pretty funny) so we had some time to kill while we were waiting for AAA and Daniel and I decided to go snorkling. It was pretty fun for a while until the water got too cold for our heads. I didn't know you could get a brain freeze without drinking anything cold. I wasn't able to get pictures of any of this because my camera was on the fritz and it was taking me too long to figure it out.
It's been so hard to keep track of time here. Without having any days off for reference and with doing almost the exact same routine everyday, days start to blend together and it's hard to keep track of the date, yet alone which day of the week it is. It seems crazy that we are leaving, it feels like we just got here. We are going to drive back up to OIMB where Alan has informed me that me and Daniel are going to be working on a side project besides counting samples and I'm pretty excited!
Barnacles are one of the main points of Alan's interest in this project and cyprids are barnacle larva. We have found a variety of species, from left to right we have been classifying them as semibalanus, crenatus, tetraclita, chthamalus and pollicepes. The one we are calling semibalanus is the species we found most often. At first we were calling it balanus until we found another species that contradicted that.
This picture shows, from top to bottom, semibalanus, crenatus, glandula and tetraclita. Semibalanus and glandula are very similar at first glance, but with more careful examination there are subtle differences that convinced us that what we originally thought of as glandula actually is not. We still don't have a consensus on what our most common cyprid is, but semibalanus seemed like the best choice for now. So this is what Daniel and I will be working on at OIMB. We will catch cyprids and grow them up into barnacles so we can determine what species our mystery cyprid is. The only one we will not be able to work with is tetraclita because it is not native to the Oregon coast. I'm excited for the next chapter of my internship. I hope everyone else is getting to have as much fun as I am! Have a good day!