Continuing with their exploration of the Sargasso Sea, the MSI interns concluded the week by studying fish and seagrass beds. On Wednesday the dive team practiced using
Stationary Point Counts by identifying as many different fish species as possible within a 7.5 meter radius cylinder at 5 minute intervals.
On Thursday, the interns traveled to Bailey's Bay to study seagrass beds. While snorkeling, the interns laid down 20-meter transect lines, then laid down random quadrats along the lines to find the density of the seagrass in half-meter square areas. They also measured the lengths of the sea grasses blades, shoot density, calcareous algae and organisms within their studied area. As an added bonus, the interns got to do an extra snorkel just outside of Whale Bone Bay, where they were able to freely explore the reef and sea life.
Today, the interns traveled to Bailey’s Bay Flatts. In teams of two, they laid down 30-meter transects counting different fish using the belt transect method. They also practiced roving diver observation by counting as many fish as they could within a 10-minute time limit.
The interns concluded each day in the computer lab where they diligently recorded the data they collected into spreadsheets, and practiced different methods of organizing, sorting, and graphing the data. In addition to this hard work, the interns had two fun opportunities to test their knowledge of corals, fish, sea grasses, and plankton by playing Coral and Fish Jeopardy. On Wednesday, Rawleigh won Coral Jeopardy, and today Eric won Fish Jeopardy.
In their own words
Rawleigh and Kori (in unison): “For SCIENCE!”
Finally, please enjoy this short clip of a rare Splendid Flat Worm that we observed on the reef at Bailey’s Bay Flats this morning.