So I have returned from Jamaica, which ended up a pretty cool trip. Unfortunately, the internet was slow and made loading images difficult, so I wanted to put another few photos up from my trip before I start talking about my research some more in the coming months. Good news, manuscript reviews came back, and were pretty positive, some moderate changes and it should get published. Another manuscript is getting ready for submission, and I am starting to get stuff written. But before I go on about that sort of thing, just enjoy these new photos from diving in Jamaica!
Lets see, Thursday we went to the Dunn’s River Falls as a break from the daily grind here at the marine lab. That was a lot of fun.
Then in the last 2 days I have put in 7 dives, 4 outside the reef and 2 in the lagoon and one on the other side of Discovery Bay. I have seen many cool things, collected cool shells, so its been pretty fun. I had some issues with my camera at the Rio Bueno dive yesterday, so my pictures didn’t come out so well, although I was lucky to get a few shots.
Today we did 2 dives on the fore-reed and 2 within Discovery Bay. Outside the reef I logged over 2 hours of bottom time, and took many, many pictures. More anemone shrimp, lionfish, gastropods, and lots more. Enjoy!
So yesterday was a little rough… I mean the weather wasn’t terrible, but there was still some swell from the days of wind previous. So during our safety stop, I was feeling it a little bit, so I only did the one dive and took an early boat ride back.
Today, sea was almost like glass, did 2 dives outside on the fore-reef, and then one inside the lagoon. Saw some cool things – invasive lionfish, big schools of creole wrasses, bluehead wrasses, giant queen cocnh, and lots of other fish. However, this site was fairly impacted, so not so much live coral as the reef I saw yesterday. Oh well. Was still fun to get 2 dives in outside and not feel like total crap. And diving in the lagoon was cool, despite it being so shallow, it was nice to be able to lay down and just look. In the lagoon, we saw inking sea hares, a peacock flounder, yellow ring sting ray, little crabs, another sharptail eel, spiny lobster, and lots more fish. So cool.
I haven’t loaded my pictures from today yet, but I’ll leave you with a few more photos from earlier in the week/weekend.
So we have been extremely busy since we arrived. We have essentially crammed a coral reef ecology class into 4 days, which was overwhelming for the students. Their practical exam is this afternoon, so they are all cramming and freaking out a little bit. I have tried to quell some of their anxiety, but at least by this evening, the lecture and exam portion of their class will be over. In between lectures, we have been snorkeling, and today I did my first dives since arriving. So that’s good. The students will start their projects tomorrow, and have ~1.5 weeks to conduct a research project. The weather (wind) hasn’t been very good, so hopefully we get more dive opportunities, but the lagoon has been pretty cool.
Some things I’ve seen:
More photos to come, but internet here is incredibly slow so I am having a hard time uploading. But, you should check out the student run blog to see what they have been seeing/doing as well.
So we landed in Jamaica this afternoon. When we left New York it was below freezing, and when we arrived in Jamaica it was over 80 Fahrenheit, so that was a nice change. It was about an hour (exciting) bus ride from the Montego Bay Airport to the Discovery Bay Marine Lab, where we will be staying for the next 17 days. We took a little tour of the facility, had excellent dinner, and then met with the class to go over the syllabus. It is intense. We essentially are fitting a 3 credit course into 2 and a half weeks, and the next 4 days are going to be intensive lectures, because the meat of this course is in student run projects and experiments, so we want them to have as much time as they can get to work on data collection. So, I am trying to squeeze a basic intro to ecological thought into 100 slides for my lectures tomorrow (haha try that!), so that the terms we will used throughout won’t be foreign to the students. Then, I am giving lectures on marine algae, coral reef fish ecology, seagrasses, mangroves, and food webs. Within the next 3 days. So yeah, I’ll be as busy as the students.
We’ll be going snorkeling tomorrow, so stay tuned for pictures of that. Well I hope. Internet here is slow and spotty, so most of my pictures will likely have to wait until I make it back home. But I can’t wait to use my home made slurp gun, aka yabbie pump, to try and catch marine critters (you can watch a build your own video here). Yes!