After an early breakfast, the snorkelers gathered in the wet lab to receive instructions about the transect experiment we would be conducting. After we were briefed, Yuliya and I head out to the back reef and set up our apparatus; our objective was to calculate bottom cover and organism density within a given transect line (15m). The bottom cover we were recording included Coral, Sargassum, Dyctiota, Halimeda, Macroalgae, Corralline algae, Turf algae and bare substrate (rock/sand). The fish we were recording were the Parrotfish, Surgeon/Doctor Fish, and the Dusky Damsels. The most recurrent urchin and fish we saw were the West Indian Sea Egg, and Dusky Damsels!
This exercise was enjoyable and helped me stop and appreciate the nature and beauty of the coral reefs. I never realized how analyzing a certain area gives you so much data. When we finished doing our transect experiment it was lunchtime, and we were told we were going off campus on a field trip! This was the first time we have gone out since we have been here and everyone was super excited.