05/12/17/Coral Gardens Reef and Smiths Reef/ 11am-5pm
Waking up today I had extreme pressure in my ears and I could barley hear anything. This concerned me because I knew I had to dive the next day and I could not with clogged ears. I tried dry ear and a bunch of other home remedies to try and unblock it but nothing worked. I decided to rest for the beginning of the day and go out on the beach later with the class.
When we arrived at Smiths Reef you could tell it was a popular spot because you could see snorkelers in the water. Unfortunately I stayed on the beach while the class snorkeled. When they came out Dr.C and Dr. Strong told us about their research and how they collect their data. They simulated what it was like using a 20 meter tape measure along the sand. Reef monitoring tells us of the different species and conditions of the coral reef. On the slates they measure fish, invertebrates and sedimentation that fall within the lines of the tape measure and 2.5 meters in width on either sides. Any species they see they mark it down, but unfortunately if it is over the line they cannot count it. These sites are separated to ensure that they are independent from each other. Although I was not able to go out and simulate what is actually done, I understand the concept and I find it very interesting how the data is collected. I would love one day to actually get out there and help collect actual data. It is time consuming with the average of a whole day dedicated to setting up and collecting data. It was unfortunate I cold not go out and help, but I learned a lot about how this process works and how the data is collected on the slates. I hope tomorrow is a better ear day!
Looks like the dog is having fun! (Off the shore of Smiths Reef)
After reef check we all went home and had a taco night!