Hello, readers! This is the end of week five, marking the halfway point of the internship here at OIMB! This summer has given me so many opportunities to conduct meaningful research, explore scientific questions, learn valuable skills, and make fantastic connections both with my fellow interns and the researchers here on campus. I am extremely thankful to be here. It’s sad knowing that it’s already halfway over, but it also means that questions are being answered, and real data is hopefully just around the corner.
This week, I began some preliminary trials to determine typical consumption rates for juvenile Dungeness crabs; in other words, how much do they eat on a regular basis? This is important in determining how much of a given food is required to sustain that crab. This applies to each of the five diet types that I’m testing, each of which have different nutritional quality, and may influence the growth of the crabs in different ways. To test this, a set amount of food will be dried and weighed, then fed to the crabs, and then the remaining food (after 24 hours) will be dried and weighed again, and the difference (minus what is lost to deterioration) is the amount they eat. This will help us to understand how much of each type of food the crabs need, and may give clues as to the types of food they prefer. More on this next week!
We attended a seminar this Wednesday on the early life history of fish in the Pacific Northwest, presented by Dr. Rick Brodeur of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The talk detailed how fluctuations in ocean currents and temperatures affect populations of marine fish such as rockfish, salmon, sardines, and many others, as well as the distribution of fish eggs and larvae in the ocean. Dr. Brodeur also showed us images taken from the In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System, a brilliant device which is used to conduct large scale surveys over huge areas by being dragged behind a vessel and various depths. The submersible captures 17 images each second by refracting light off of a mirror and taking a picture of the shadow of whatever passes through the light. It does so without capturing them, making it a very useful tool for surveying without removing animals from their environment.
Leela and I were invited to join our mentor Aaron Galloway on the R/V Pluteus, as he and his post-doc Julie Schram tested the boat as a diving platform here in Coos Bay. They were joined by a dive safety officer from Oregon State. This was a really cool experience; Leela and I were simply there to observe, but we were also able to assist moving gear around and helping the dive team suit up. This was a very good introduction to the nuances of diving, which relies on numerous factors, such as the swell of the waves, the locations of undercurrents, the condition of the tides, etc. It was nice to get a first-hand experience watching people who have dived many times in the past, without having to go into the water myself. As much as I want to do that, it is critical for me to understand the many factors that influence dive conditions before I try to put on a wet suit. They did see some cool things, though, including several large rockfish, huge barnacles, and equally large purple sea urchins. Hopefully I’ll be able to experience that in the future!
Thanks for reading!
Hey, readers! My name is Zade Clark-Henry. I'm from Salem, Oregon, and I'm an undergraduate student majoring in Natural Resources at Oregon State University, with an emphasis ecological studies, specifically forest ecosystems and ecological restoration. I'm interested in all types of science, but especially life sciences, and within that I'm most interested in ecological interactions between organisms. My non-academic interests include playing music, hiking, camping, exploring, kayaking, reading, and drinking tasty espresso.