This past weekend consisted of another camping venture, but this time back in my home state California! Ana, Kostantina, Wyatt, Chris, and I headed 3 hours south of OIMB towards the Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park where I got a sweet hat as a souvenir (pictured in following awkward family photo). We hiked through an old-growth forest that consisted of incredibly tall trees. I always feel humbled with these kinds of experiences because they allow me to truly appreciate the large range of biodiversity that our world contains.
The most exciting day, however, involved the collecting of the first water samples for my project! I went from dock to dock along the Coos Bay estuary collecting water while measuring salinity and temperature. It was a little bit of a rocky start as I took longer in some sites than I planned and had to improvise certain plans to accommodate setbacks I didn’t account for. An example of this was the restricted gate access to my last site in Coos Bay. It was a great run though and I’m having a lot of fun using my newly honed phytoplankton identifying skills to see what I found in my water samples. The variety of creatures we have in the ocean even microscopically is astounding to see. I’m also realizing that trial-and-error really is just a part of science and that that shouldn’t be discouraging at all. The perfect experiment with no errors or issues must be extremely rare. I feel like these mistakes are helping me improve overall as a marine scientist and am ready for any future ones.
My name is Nancy Torres and I am from Carson, a city located in southern California. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor's of Science degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara. My ultimate career goal is to find a way to combine my passion for learning about the marine realm with my desire to help spread environmental awareness and inspire action.