Monday, April 14, 2014

Week Two!

On Monday, we kicked off the week learning about Arthropods. After a lecture that included crabs, insects and many other crustaceany things, we also learned about Tardigrades: The magical, indestructible,  almost undetectable, water bears!

Above: Carcinus maeans; The European
Green Crab
Guest speaker, Dr. Sylvia Yamada, then informed us about the history of European Green Grab, or Carcinus maeans, on our coast. The European Green Crab was earliest detected in 1989 in San Francisco Bay, and had reached Coos Bay by 1997. They disrupt eel grass restoration plots, and prevent establishment of mussel and clam beds. Their expansion is due to the warmer El Nino events, like the one in 1997-1998 which brought them to Coos Bay. However, without further strong El Nino events, green crabs are likely to go extinct in the Pacific Northwest in the coming years.

Our classmates sporting their SCUBA
masks to get a better look around!

On Tuesday, we traveled to the Newport Bay docks to collect more specimens! We were hoping to find some Ctenophores and Scyphozoans (or jellyfish!). In the many specimens that we collected, we had two species of Hydrozoan jellyfish: Polyorchis penicillatus, and Polyorchis haplus.

Hydrozoans Polyorchis penicillatus,
and Polyorchis haplus.

Learning about how sea stars
evert their stomach to feed.

Wednesday night we all got to brag about our favorite invertebrates by presenting about them in front of the class at the 9th Annual Dessert Extravaganza: creativeness was encouraged! That night we all played Nudibranch Jeopardy!, sang follow-along camp songs about the sunflower starfish, listened to a poem about Tardigrades, and many other fun invertebrate-related things!

Cuttlefish locomotion demonstration.

After a fun night of presenting (which aided in the studying process), we all continued to study for Friday's exams. Most of the day was spent focused on memorizing feeding structures, tissue layers, body plans and latin names. In the afternoon, some of us decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and quiz each other while playing volleyball!

Friday: With pencils sharpened, and coffee consumed, we took our exams (and rocked them!). After the lab was clean, some of us headed home for some much needed R&R, while others stayed on campus to volunteer for Saturday's Hatfield Marine Science Day.

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