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Intertidal Surveys!

Posted by: leo2015 | June 19, 2015 | 2 Comments |

This past week brought a new adventure for the Sea Ranch team! We (Jeffrey, Kyle, Nicole, and I) volunteered along with several other individuals to help with an intertidal survey conducted by  UC Santa Cruz’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department. Maya, Melissa, Karah, and Molly were our mentors throughout the project as the grad students in charge of conducting the survey.


Kyle scanning species into an electronic database as Karah goes through a typical plot. Each plot was divided into a 10×10 grid and belonged to one of five different species plots. Each individual rectangle was classified by the predominant covering species (if no species present, just rock or sand) and then scanned using pre-made barcodes and a PalmPilot (essentially a PDA with a scanning machine like in a grocery store). A bit tedious, but the plots were only exposed during low tide and we were racing the clock to get all the plots done before the tides rose again. (Thankfully we won the race)


Jeffrey and Nicole setting up the rig for an overhead photo of a plot.


Nicole carrying the camera rig. Climbing over wet, algae-covered rocks was hard enough without the rig, but she did it!


Me using the Palm Pilot to scan species into a preset database as Maya identifies the predominant species per area. The heavy jacket was crucial in the cold morning wind, and the gloves (almost) kept my hands from freezing solid.

IMG_0038 (resized) UCSC led sampling group at breakfast[2]

After the survey, we all went to Trinks cafe in Gualala to warm up and talk without the impending threat of the rising tide. From Left to Right: Doug Forsell, Lynn Suer, Karah, Kyle, Nicole, Amy and Bob van Soyk, Jeffrey, Me, Molly, Melissa, and Maya.

Overall this was an amazing adventure and an incredibly fun morning.

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Responses -

Did you see any sea star wasting disease? Can’t believe how much you did in a morning.

Not that we are aware of, however there was a reduction in the number of starfish present compared to the time period before the disease outbreak.

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