Saturday, November 14, 2009
A research vacation
Our Creative Inquiry team traveled by air, land, and sea to reach our research destinations where we worked long, hard days setting up underwater plots, collecting data, avoiding deadly sea creatures, and just barely escaping drowning episodes.
Just kidding! While we did collect data for our research project, it wasn't a chore. I had a great time and learned so much about the marine biodiversity, marine systems, and marine research in the Keys, all the while enjoying the beautiful setting of the Florida Keys.
My favorite expedition was the snorkel through the mangroves. It was very different from the sites where we collected data and the Looe Key reef. The water was a dark brown from the tannins in the mangrove leaves, and the prop roots provided structure for algae, anemones, sponges, and other organisms.
The coolest things I saw were the blue sponges and spiral anemones. The snorklers in the front of the line got to see a couple nurse sharks, but by the time I had caught up, the sharks had swum on their way.