Thursday, April 8, 2010

2 down, 8 to go

So, week two is over, and we sadly say goodbye to Sally, Margot, and the invertebrates. We did have some good times this week though. Monday we heard an interesting lecture from Sylvia Yamada about Carcinus maenas, the invasive European Green Crab. These sneaky creatures moved in after being introduced in San Francisco in the early '80s. The strong El Nino of '97/'98 gave the larvae a warm current to ride up to our part of town, and here they have managed to hang on, despite the fact that they require very specific ocean temperatures for the larvae to survive. After the lecture we went out to explore the crab traps Margot had set the night before, and lo and behold, some crabs were found. We even found two green crabs! We let most of them go but we did keep a Dungeness (Cancer magister) and a Red Rock (Cancer productus) for our lab.

Tuesday was lots of fun as we finally got to go on our Cascade Head trip. This 300 mile long basalt lava flow was formed when a volcano erupted near idaho around 15 million years ago. It was a good thing we waited for the trip instead of going last Tuesday. The weather cooperated for once and it turned out to be a beautiful day (relatively speaking. :-P)
We all hiked up, getting our boots and pants muddy, but it was worth it. Some elk even decided to grace us with their presence on the next hill. A few people were brave enough (or foolhardy enough) to climb all the way to the top on a much steeper trail, and when they returned we took the customary picture before heading back down the trail. All in all, a good day.

Wednesday was the annual Marine Invertebrate Presentation and Dessert Extravaganza! But we don't actually know which number it is :) . Everybody had great presentations and there were tons of creative ideas. We got to see an octopus eat a crab, watched some crab racing, ate many delicious creatures (made of pastry items, of course), got little sea pens, were eviscerated on by a sea cucumber, got taught by a visiting crab, saw the dreaded Vampire Squid from Hell, learned about the medicinal properties of a new phylum, and played a game of jeopardy. It was both entertaining and informative.

Alas, the end has arrived. Thursday we had two study sessions, one for each exam, and Friday is the day of reckoning. Good luck to everybody. We shall all do fabulously. Bring on the invertebrates!

Next stop the fishes!

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