Thursday, April 9, 2009

This Week in HMSC: Guests Lectures, Confused Fishermen, and Cramming for a Test

Oh snap! The second week of BI 450 is passing us in a flash and it’s been great!

The week started out with two very informed guest lectures. First was an in depth look at the mechanisms of invasive species from Dr. John Chapman, focusing on Yaquina Bay’s own mud shrimp, Upogebia pugenttensis, and its quite damaging isopod parasite Orthione griffensis, a relationship we saw first hand last week while visiting Sally’s Bend. Then we had a talk from Dr. Sylvia Yamada, a specialist on the invasive European Green Crab. Sylvia took us down to the shore of HMSC to take data on the crabs she caught so we could get an idea of how diverse the range of species is in our backyard. Much pinching of fingers ensued.

Tuesday was an adventure out at the boat yard where we diligently searched the waters for any signs of life. Mostly we just confused the fishermen. But we did not go away empty handed! We found an abundance of Polyorchis penicillatus, commonly named red-eyed medusa, along with a ctenophore, Pleurobrachia bachei, also known as a sea gooseberry. A quick break for ice cream was a well deserved reward.

Wednesday came with a mad rush to finish our Favorite Invertebrate projects. There was dancing and games, lots of food and an odd new drug craze involving some unfortunate anemones and interviewees. It was a wonderful break from our diligent studying, but now it is time to get back to the grind and finish those darn notebooks!

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