Hi all! This is Ashley McGowan again, reporting from home in Honolulu. It’s been great living on beautiful Coconut Island and working with such a great group of people, but we were all ready for a day of rest tomorrow.
After a productive day of data analysis, field preparation and introduction writing, we were back out snorkeling in Kaneohe Bay today. Our three research groups split up to collect data for our different questions about coral calving. Group A continued to collect sedimentation and topography data at 3 reefs. Group B placed HOBOs (temperature recorders that will record temperature on the windward and leeward side of patch reefs in the bay) on all of our study reefs in record time, thanks to the expert boat driving of Dr. Rodgers. We also took water samples to measure salinity and counted calves on Reef 38. Group C marked the location of coral calves around three more reefs with GPS. They will randomly select calves to examine in detail on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
After placing all of our devices and collecting data, we headed to the ‘Sunken City’ – a prototype self-sustaining platform that was sunk just off of Coconut Island and is now home to tons of sponges, corals, algae and fish.
We ended the day with another interesting lecture. Yuko Stender introduced us to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and some of the cool things we can do with them. We will be learning how to map data to visualize our results and perform a thorough spatial analysis of coral calving. Monday is dedicated to data analysis and mapping, so we’ll have lots more interesting things to share then!