DAY 3: FUNGIA IN THE SUN-GIA

As another rainy day started on Moku O L’oe , spirits were certainly not as damp as the weather outside. The four scientific paper summaries we ALL completed the night before (well, most…) found us admittedly exhausted, but still very much willing to learn more about the subject of marine habitats in Kaneohe Bay. We began the day with a very informative lecture from awesome teaching assistant Trevor Johanssen on the reproductive strategies of the gonochoric coral Fungia scutaria: our organism of interest for the next few weeks. (Yes, we understand that the scientific community have recently adopted the genus Lobactis for this species, but if the title is any indication, we students have a clear preference).

Dr. Keisha Bahr then went through the several techniques used by marine biologists to conduct ecological sampling, and explained that we would be using some of the simpler techniques in today’s field work. After the formalities, eyes lit up when we realized that it was time to hit the water once again.

There was a collective suspicion that the sunny conditions on our 2nd day of work were a bit too good to be consistent, and those suspicions were confirmed when we made our way to Reef 41. After docking we started to look for F. scutaria populations in order to begin our transect-quadrat sampling, but to no avail. The weather was definitely on the rough side, with dark clouds and wind-induced currents making the sampling process more difficult than anticipated. We decided to relocate to Reef 50 in order to increase our chances of finding our coral of choice, while enjoying some sandwiches for lunch along the way. When we arrived, we realized that while there were more Fungia specimens to be sampled they were all a bit too deep on the reef to use our transects and quadrats. Trevor, Keisha, and the crew decided that it would be best to conduct our Photo Transects in the shallower portion of Reef 50, and make our way to Reef 17 where there was a guaranteed abundance of our elusive coral.

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We were able to complete our sampling activity on Reef 17, with many Fungia scutaria hanging around.

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We ended the day with another great dinner, with tacos on the menu this time around. We are all looking forward to what tomorrow’s activities may bring and hope to continue our adventures on this tiny island on an island.

- Maddie and Enrique

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