Monday was one of our earliest days yet! We met up with Dr. Sylvia Yamada who taught us about the invasion of the Green Crab, Carcinus maenas. We've been pretty lucky with the weather so far. Our dry morning consisted of pulling crab traps at 2 different sites around HMSC. These pots were set by Sylvia, Caitlin, and Kass early the morning before. We had quite a few, not only Carcinus Maenas, but also Hemigraspus oregonensis and Hemigraspus nudus. We even caught a sculpin in one of the minnow traps!
This was our longest day of lectures, with Sylvia's lecture, Sally's lecture on her favorite Phylum Tardigrada and then another guest lecture from John Chapman on the invasion of the isopod, Orthione griffenis. Throughout the week we were continuously working on finishing up our 10 notebook drawings of invertebrates we had in the lab, and studying for the final and lab practicum on Friday.
Lava flows from Northeast Oregon have supplied our coast with many basalt headlands. Activity from plate tectonics, specially the subduction zone off our coast, has caused these headlands to rise from the sediment below. It is crazy to think about such so many forces acting together for millions of years to create these beautiful landscapes we now get to enjoy.
The weather was on our side, no rain and barely any wind! Although we won't go as far as saying it was sunny. The rest of the afternoon was "free" for more drawing and studying.
We had our last invertebrate lectures on Wednesday, then a long break to prepare for our Favorite Invert Presentations! (Not to mention dessert extravaganza!) It was a long but fun night of enthusiastic presentations. We learned the 'true facts' of a diverse range of inverts, from Deep Sea Tube Worms (from a tube worm herself), to Peacock Mantis Shrimp, to the Giant Pacific Octopus. Many laughs and many desserts, it was quite a fun way to have presentations!
The next day was game day. Not having class in the morning made it feel like a weekend yet again, although there was that one big thing hanging over our heads. It seemed as if everyone was studying right up until the last minute. Once we finished both the exam and the lab practical, it was clean up time. Animals were either returned to Boiler Bay or consolidated into one tank. Tanks were emptied and cleaned in preparation for fish collection next week! As the sun came out everyone departed their separate ways, some returning to Corvallis, some going camping in Florence and some relaxing at home. It was a bitter sweet ending, happy to be done with the exam, but sad that we loose Sally and Caitlin. Onto marine fishes we go!