Sunday, April 24, 2016

All About Algae!

Week 4 began, and so did the studying.  The marine fishes section was coming to an end on Tuesday, so Monday was full of studying and the last couple of lectures.  One of these lectures was an interesting guest lecture by Marisa Litz on salmon ecology. We learned about the complexity of salmon’s life cycle as they go from the river to the sea and back.  Tuesday came about, and so did the test, which passed by without any hiccups.  The marine algae section began Thursday morning with Annette Olson.   We jumped right into algae section with multiple lectures and lab demos, allowing us to try our hands at dichotomous keys.  The most fun part of the day was learning to press algae.  They turned out beautifully and show various parts of the morphology.  
Lucy's seaweed pressing

 Friday started nice and early at 6:15 am with a mini lecture before our first algae field trip to Seal Rock.  Unfortunately, the weather was not the best, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves.  Annette showed us many species and how their distribution varies among micro-habitats.  Some algae are able to grow in more exposed areas, while others need a more protected area to grow.  Seal Rock is a dynamic habitat with micro-topography everywhere from the sand swept rocks to the beach. This allows for the algae to fill very complex and unique niches. We came back to class and learned all about green, brown, and red algae.  To teach us about brown kelp, Annette showed us various dried and pressed specimens.

Class listening to Annette

Brittney and Annette collecting algae

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