January 11 by Joyce

Joyce_blog_pic January 11, 2007
      Today was another day of inclement weather. The winds were strong and it rained intermittently. I walked to breakfast and found a couple of friends chatting about their plans for the day. Having filled myself with French toast and pineapple, I made plans to do a test run of our research equipment in the bay.
      After making some last minute adjustments, we grabbed our fluorescent yellow and orange equipment and snorkel gear. We jumped off the dock to find that we could not see a thing. The winds were stirring up the sandy bottoms and I could not see my hands. Nevertheless, the test run was a success even in the worst condition possible. I am hoping that we will be able to start collecting data tomorrow but, I am more anxious to dive. Diving in a constantly changing environment is a new experience every time. The different colors and shapes of the animals that inhabit the reefs take me away from the hard, gray, drabness of life on land. Diving people are happy people!
      
Our Research Project
      Jen, Riki, and I decided to conduct a survey of corals, algae, and sponges, as our final research project. We chose to do it because we wanted to maximize the times that we could dive, while being productive. We designed a transferable grid and quadrat system creating a 9m by 9m grid to position at two depths of a reef location. We plan to take pictures and later identify the coral species in the lab. Algae and sponge cover will be measured by the Bran-Blanquet method underwater by the other two divers. Fortunately, according to recent surveys, the Jamaican coral reefs are making a come back after strenuous events in the past two decades. We hope to be overwhelmed by the diversity of coral species as we dive throughout the Northwestern coast of Jamaica.

Whatever. Wherever. Whenever.

-Joyce

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