Monday, July 11, 2011

Drew - Gearing up for a big muddy week

Tuesday morning started with a boat ride upriver to some particularly muddy experiments in progress. Brett, Lee, Sam, Jessica and I were collecting data for Jessica's project on Dungeness crab recruitment. She had placed liter size mesh bags containing oyster shells on the mud flats at varying intertidal elevations hoping that Dungeness crabs would arrive and call it home. We recorded some information about the algae or eel grass present, collected and sieved one inch of mud within the quadrat and threw all the sample into labeled plastic bags to be sorted back at the lab. We saw a lot of small crab living in these bags and I believe she is assembling the data next week. I had a great time though it was really hard to move around in such thick black deep mud and I was definitely sore the next day.
Wednesday involved more hard work out on the flats doing some core samples for shrimp. The muddy experience of Tuesday made Idaho Flats seem like a walk in the park.
Here is Sara (left) and Katelyn digging some holes and sieving for shrimp. Don't worry I helped out too. The bucket that Sara's shovel is in, is a 60cm tall pot with the bottom cut out that we sunk into the mud. It allowed us to regulate the total area of each sample (these shrimp can burrow up 120 cm but most don't go past 60 cm). We collected ten of these and I will be doing that again sometime soon for the population assessment project.

Earlier we had done a juvenile assessment just like this one in an area where we knew the age of the shrimp but this sampling is the adult version of a variety of age classes. We will compare the two this next week and see how it effects our sampling plans.

On Thursday Katelyn and I finally tackled Lee and got him to help us with the GPS map that we had collected and here is what he created. This is showing Idaho Flat in yellow, land in grey, and water in white. The blue represents the Ghost shrimp population and the red is the Mud shrimp population. All of those dots are locations I have to visit at some point next week and collect data such as burrow holes per sq. meter, soil type, and algae type. This information will allow us to generate a new map of population densities just like the one created in 2008. You might notice that ours is incomplete. We will get to mapping the rest, don't worry.
Well the tides aren't supposed to be great for collecting data from those random points on our map till Thursday. Till then I will be learning a little bit about ARC-map, a mapping/graphing program, writing up some rough drafts for the materials and methods section of a report, practicing R, and whatever else I can get involved with.

Enjoy the week!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Drew!

    I like that you're work consists of getting knee-deep in the mud. I hope it's not too cold and I hope the smell isn't very offensive. I've found out that wetsuits that are worn everyday and don't get the chance to completely dry out tend to take on a rather pungent smell. And when you're stuck in a warm car with stinky wet suits that have been baking in the back for a couple hours, well...I'll just say it isn't a scent I would recommend for an air freshener. Anyways, I hope you are having an awesome time on your internship! I definitely am, even with all the smells. :D