Today was the day folks! It was finally time to get started with our research projects. The day began with us headed to the lab to game-plan our project ideas and methods with our professors. We had our groups, we had our ideas, it was now time to go out into the field and begin our work.
For our morning snorkel we headed out to Sand Dollar for our preliminary research work for the projects. While we were out there we were seeing all different kinds of algae and fish. Then all of a sudden it happened! We all finally got to see a shark. Soon everyone began flocking in order to gaze upon the magnificent Nurse Shark that was just hanging around the reef. All of us were super excited to get this opportunity. After seeing the shark, it was pretty much time to head back to shore, and to the GRC for lunch.
In the afternoon it was time to split up and hone in on our research project needs. Some groups went to Government Dock, while others went to Monument. While swimming around Monument a group of three were being followed around the entire reef by an adorable little friend. A baby Bar Jack had decided to use the three of them as protection from larger animals. Every turn they made, the Bar Jack was right by their side. The group decided to name the fish Louis (Louie). While the people at Monument were working on their research projects and playing with their little friend the people who were at Government Dock were also working on projects and having a good time—they were working on the logistics of their research projects when they came upon a stingray, probably no more than 5 feet from them! They also saw some fun stuff like a baby Barracuda, a surfacing Sea Turtle, and a Queen Angel Fish.
Later we got the opportunity to learn about reef ecology from JW in class. We learned about the different kinds of reefs and how those reefs interact with the island of San Salvador. The information was really interesting and it was cool learning something new about the structure of reefs.
All in all, today was a great day. We saw sharks, made fish friends, and got started on our extremely important research projects.
Michael Sherman ‘20
Ellen Rosicky ‘19