Hey There!!

Welcome to the 2009 VIMS REU blog!!

We are all having a blast here in Virginia! This week has been full of great weather and fun activities! Projects are underway, with sea grasses planted, algae-growing flotation devices cast off, and a wide variety of other experiments set up.

I am not sure what the other students have been up to this week as I have spent the last 5 days on the beautiful Patuxent River in Maryland. The scenery was fantastic, with adorable Eastern homes lining the shore, gorgeous marshes and nature parks, and incredible sunsets over the water.

Stacy Aguilera at the helm.

Working with Professor Rochelle Seitz and her lab, we traveled North from Solomon’s Island to collect samples. We suctioned up sediment to look for life along three different shoreline types: natural marsh, bulkhead, and riprap (stones placed to prevent erosion). We were extremely lucky with weather and were able to witness a number of cool creatures, from rays to blue crabs to ribbon worms. We measured chlorophyll, nutrients, and a number of other parameters to try to determine which type of shoreline is best for the benthic (bottom-dwelling) creatures. We also placed a few cages to measure the predation rates on clams. The trip was a success, we had a ton of fun and collected 45 samples!