Today we woke up in smoke-filled rooms because the bugs have gotten so bad that everyone felt the need to buy coils to fight them off, however, it was Pancake Day, so that made up for the nauseating smell from the night. Following in the routine of the past few days, one group got up bright and early at 5:30 AM in order to work on their research projects, while one left shortly after breakfast to catch low tide. The rest of us went later in the morning to snorkel at Sand Dollar Reef in order to gain further information for our research.
The second part of the day consisted of cheeseburgers (yum!!!) and working mostly on organism presentations. Many of us spent several hours in the lab creating our PowerPoints, searching through books, and writing scripts. This work paid off because the class portion for today consisted of the first two of these organism presentations-the mollusk group and the plant group. The class learned quite a few new species and valuable information on these organism groups including how to identify them in the field, and why these organisms matter to us.
Today we came to the realization that this course is beneficial especially when conducting future research projects. Over the last few weeks we have been tasked with creating a research project; at this point, most of us have a pretty established method to gather data and are starting to piece together conclusions so that we can begin our posters. Learning how to develop a hypothesis, gather information about the topic, and analyze data in order to present a poster are all very valuable skills that we all understand we will utilize in our academic and professional careers. Furthermore, becoming a “specialist” for our particular organisms allowed us to focus on a particular area, master the common species and help others in the group identify them. Being able to show off our hard work and what we have learned about the organisms to our class has allowed us to develop identification and research skills that we otherwise would not have. We are all aware that being in charge of various projects at once has not only let us establish a new skillset in these particular marine habitats, but has developed universal skills that can be used in any further research or occupation.
Trina Rosing ‘21 and MC Lynch ‘20