Grace: Exploring research in marine science

My time at the Bodega Marine Lab for this summer is over... This summer I was able to explore so much from working on an independent project to being able to help out with a wide range of different research topics. This experience definitely exposed me to the excitement of conducting research, something I hope to continue in the future.

Understanding the ecology of seagrass beds is important because of their role in removing carbon dioxide from the water and decreasing the effects of ocean acidification.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have been working on a project analyzing sediment cores from Bodega Harbor. We collected cores inside, on the edge, and on the outside of the seagrass bed. This project can help us better understand how water currents might affect the deposition of larvae, because as current velocity slows at the edge of seagrass beds, more organisms might be deposited on the edge. Understanding the ecology of seagrass beds is important because of their role in removing carbon dioxide from the water and decreasing the effects of ocean acidification. Last week I was able to go out to help collect more samples to improve our data. After extruding the cores (shown below) and drying them, I recorded the organisms present in the sediment samples (primarily nematode worms and copepods). I was excited to present some of my preliminary results at last week’s lab meeting, and received a lot of helpful feedback.

In my free time when not working on my project, I have recently had some fun field work experiences. I helped with water sampling on Tomales Bay, helping to measure factors such as the water’s pH, temperature, and chlorophyll content. Additionally, I spent time helping to count snails in tide pools in the intertidal zone for an experiment measuring how ocean acidification affects predator prey interactions.

From these projects, I have learned so much about the research going on at the Bodega Marine Lab as well as the issues facing the ocean as a result of climate change. I am really grateful to everyone in the Hill Lab for making this such a wonderful experience. I am looking forward to studying marine science in the future and I hope to come back soon!

~Grace Kortum, August 2016

 Hill lab walking along the shoreline, Summer 2016

Hill lab walking along the shoreline, Summer 2016

 

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