Experiences: Marine Bio’s Overnight Study in Monterey, Part Two (With Pics!)

You may remember San Francisco Bay Marine Biology’s overnight field trip to Monterey from our previous post, but now that the other class section has made its way there and back, there are a few more details worth sharing. Here’s what senior Brendan, whose photography-oriented Senior Signature Project led him to document the excursion, had to say.

The itinerary…

> After Morning Meeting, we headed down to Elkhorn Slough, which is this observatory down in Monterey. We did plankton tows; we pulled in crab traps; we recorded data about the crabs. We were taking records down.

> Then we looked at plankton under microscopes in their lab there. It’s a pretty nice lab.

> We went to our campsite and cooked our meal… The next day we woke up and went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a good half of the day and then to the beach to do a transect study. It’s basically taking data about Pacific mole crabs because they’re the lowest on the food chain, so their population affects the entire ecosystem.

> We also did a rocky tidal transect, which was basically taking down all the species we saw. Then we headed home.

The purpose…

> They’re trying to see a difference over the years, because they’ve been taking data for tens of years at this point. They’re looking for trends – like if mole crabs died off one summer, they’d say, “What’s going on there?” If there are more males than females, that’s something they’d want to know.

> There are all these “if /then” situations; the data [we collected] can tell them a lot about current status.

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