Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Riley - Week 1 ; Welcome to Hatfield

 June 23rd-27th, 2014

      My name is Riley Brostrom, and I came to Hatfield from Chemeketa Community College in Salem. I am transferring to Oregon State University in the fall with my Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree, pursuing a major in biology with an emphasis in marine biology. Since being introduced to the subject of marine science in high school, I knew that this is where I wanted my career to take me. This field is something I find fascinating and exciting. I believe that there is still a lot left undiscovered in the world’s oceans, and I would love to be a part of those discoveries. When I heard about the COSEE Prime internship available at Hatfield this summer, I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity I had to be a part of.
     For my project I worked with Dr. Brett Dumbauld of the USDA, and his graduate student from OSU, Daniel Sund. The main component of our research was investigating the use of structured and unstructured habitats within the intertidal mudflats by fish and juvenile crabs. This meant we studied areas that had eelgrass present (structured habitats) or areas that were bare mud (unstructured). More specifically, we were comparing the use of a non-native eelgrass species (Zostera japonica) to the use of a native eelgrass (Zostera marina). This way, we hoped to gain a better understanding of what Z. japonica’s role is within our coastal ecosystem, and how that compares to Z. marina. This study was carried out by a few different methods:
     One of the methods we used was the sampling of shell bags. These were placed in various habitats last year, and were recovered this year to count the number of juvenile crab that had settled in them. A second method was the deployment of underwater cameras. These were used to see fish and crab in their natural environment, while having the ability to count them. Such methods we hoped would inform us as to which habitat appears to supplement the most diversity of creatures, thus leading to their importance within the coastal ecosystem.

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