This week I also helped Dr. Dumbauld collect more shell bags which were used to attract Dungeness crabs to different areas in the estuary. The samples we take of the sea grass and crabs will help us see how the biodiversity of the estuary is affected, if at all, by the Zostera japonica invasive sea grass.
I also had the incredible opportunity to tour a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) research vessel, the Bell Shimada. Officer Michael of NOAA Corps gave us a guided tour of the vessel, including the bridge with an almost 360-degree view and the trawl nets that they use to collect hake and sardines. This is the first NOAA vessel to target collection surveys of two species of fish at once, and the trawl doors even empty into a hopper that ends in a conveyor belt leading straight to the wet lab. Here, the scientists can efficiently determine the size, sex, and weight of the fish they collect. During the tour, I felt as if I were onboard the starship Enterprise and it was truly amazing to see all of the work and equipment that goes into each research cruise.
I had another wonderful week at Hatfield and am looking forward to cutting and mounting my specimens to identify growth patterns next week.
A view of the Pacific from South Beach, Newport