Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hello Hatfield!

Welcome to Hatfield spring 2014! 22 of us have now found a new home here. We are all very enthusiastic about the journey to come; lectures, lab and field work included. This first week included beautiful weather and fantastic conditions for playing, I mean working outside. In lecture this week we learned all about sponges, cnidarians, ctenophores and about the super cool worms! We are all adjusting to this new and fast-paced work load.

Our new home/lab

Cascade Head  

On Tuesday our class had the opportunity of hiking Cascade Head and looking out across the ocean and shoreline. We were fortunate in that we could see for miles and miles as the weather was awesome! We learned earlier in the day that the Oregon Silver Spot Butterfly is endangered and can only survive as larvae on purple violets. These flowers are being out competed by prairie grasses and are very low in abundance. The adult butterflies don’t feed on these violets, however, the caterpillar of this species does.  We spent much time looking for these tiny, and I mean tiny, flowers and butterflies. Unfortunately, we didn't see any of the insects but we did spot some violets!

The beginning of the hike was treacherous; nah just kidding. Everyone should hike up there for the beautiful view

Boiler Bay

Our next adventure took place at Boiler bay which is just North of Depot Bay.  The class had a fun time climbing and searching for different invertebrates throughout the tide pools and rocks.  Some of the species we found include:

Top picture: Clown Nudibranch (Triopha catalinae). Bottom left: Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). Bottom right: Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) All these lucky individuals had the privilege of coming back with us to be put in our laboratory tanks. (Don’t worry we are taking good care of our marine friends! They are so photogenic for the pictures we have to draw for our lab notebooks).  

Boiler Bay is as named because of a 
shipwreck in the early 1900's. Here is  
a picture of the boiler that still sits 
among the rocks. If you are able to 
visit during really low tides, you may 
even be able to catch a glimpse of the 

Strawberry Hill

Thursday consisted of a trip to Strawberry Hill, nope no strawberries to be found, to collect more invertebrates. This site also had a few different species of Nudibranchs which we immediately fell in love with.

Ready for our “mud shots”!

Our last field trip of this first week took us on a special trip that not all were especially prepared for.  We went to Yaquina Bay to get “down n' dirty” in the mud flats to collect shrimp and worms.  What we thought would be a very cheap mud bath turned into a very interesting trek into the deep mud, let’s just say that sticks were VERY helpful.

By Ashtyn Isaak and Kristi Knoll

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