Monday, April 30, 2018

This Spring semester of 2018 has brought me many new and exciting experiences as a member of the Childress Lab. I was fortunate enough to travel to the Keys for my second trip in December and again over spring break. I found that with each trip my growing knowledge about marine organisms and marine systems allowed for a new euphoria of understanding. The courses I've taken this semester and the training I've received in the Childress Lab are preparing me for field research in a way I never imagined. However, this semester I've also been exposed to a side of scientific academia for the first time. Morgan and I had the opportunity to present a poster on The Impacts of Hurricane Irma on The Middle Florida Keys at several academic symposiums. Going through the poster making process prepared us for many of the steps involved in publishing scientific literature and allowed us to share our wonderful research with members of the Clemson community. Every member of the CMR team was also charged with the task of designing a project for this summer as well as writing and presenting the proposal. I throughly enjoyed this assignment and took the opportunity to design a project with methods that could easily be worked into the standard data collection methods we utilize. This proposal focuses on how reef fish utilize ledges, an excellent bridge between Kara's work studying the relationship between structure and fish community and the results we found examining the impact of hurricane Irma. As the semester concludes I am eager to return to the keys, this time for eight weeks, and excited about what I still have to learn not only in the field but as a member of the CMR team for many semesters to come.

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