Friday, April 27, 2012

Algae Bananza!

       Once again we have jumped right into another few days of learning about red, green, and brown algae! Yesterday we field-tripped to Boiler Bay and this morning we visited Seal Rock to collect more specimens for the lab. (Shown below is the beautiful Boiler Bay - which I just found out was named after the giant boiler that remains from a ship wreck that happened around 100 years ago!)

Boiler Bay

         We were lucky to have the sun shining all of yesterday morning, because as soon as we got back, it began to pour! Throughout yesterday, we listened to Annette lecture about Chlorophytes, the green division of algae. We learned about their thallus (body) types, and their reproductive cycles, and what some of the most common species are along the Oregon Coast. The first day of the algae section, we learned to press the algae to preserve it and so yesterday, we were able to continue pressing the species that we had collected when down at Boiler Bay. Many of the pieces turned out really nice! We have also been broken down into teams for the big algae project/presentation that we are doing this coming Wednesday. Collectively, we each met with Jeremy and Annette to talk about our assigned algae type last night.

         This morning we had a later start at 9:30, where we drove out to Seal Rock, which is a location that we have not visited yet. It was really beautiful with many intricate rock formations right on the edge of the surf. In between the different collection sites along the shore, Annette pointed out many algae that grew along the various substrates and gave us clues for identification.

Tara on a rock!
When we returned, we took a short lunch break and then reconvened for a lecture on Phaeophyceae (brown algae). We had short lab session where Jeremy explained the differences between the local kelp species, like Bull Kelp and the Sea Palm. These were much easier to identify than the green algae the previous day. We were let out early because we didn't really have much of a break between the Algae and Fish sections of the course. An early weekend is gladly welcomed!

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