This week went by extremely quickly! There was a lot going on both inside and outside of the lab. This past weekend the REU’s all got to go camping at Sunset Bay State Park. There were many stories told, s’mores made, and stars gazed upon with an acoustic guitar on a beach, surrounded by majestic trees. All factors were present for a great night that you imagine would be in a movie. The morning after, we all went tide pooling during low tide and were able to spend a good amount of time exploring the dynamic communities in the intertidal zone. I have gone tide pooling before, but never with people who all had so much knowledge on the unique creatures that can be found just by looking under these rocks. Some personal favorites found and pictured: blood stars, purple sea urchins, bioluminescent anemone, and iridescent kelp.
In addition to this, I collected ten mussels off the docks by OIMB. I am using them to determine how long they will be needed to be left out in my actual project to ensure they have enough time to feed off of Pseudo-Nitzschia. After being starved for a couple of days, I’m sure they will be more than ready to start feeding but I want to find the sweet spot for timing. I am excited to finalize methods and to be ready to start collecting data!
The middle of the week also consisted of fun 4th of July activities. I was able to go to the local farmer’s market and purchase delicious fruits, salsa, and seafood. I am going to make sure to come back again for hummus and more fruit. The REU’s and other interns got to participate in the annual egg toss where I made it much farther than I thought I would, specifically past the first three tosses. My partner, Kostantina, and I didn’t win, but we were definitely proud of our progress. The night concluded with a nice bonfire by the beach for fireworks. The highlight for me, however, was the gorgeous sunset that I admit (even with my biased opinion favoring Santa Barbara sunsets) was comparable to the ones I experienced back home. Looking forward to more project progress, sunsets, and ventures with my fellow REU's!
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.