And the Adventure continues@

I know its been a while but things have been a little quiet around here! Let me try to get everyone up to speed:

* the second Boat Trip was cancelled since it was originally booked for the weekend of spring break and over half the class claimed that they would not be able to attend. So, Doc cancelled it and tried to reschedule but to no avail. Pretty sad about this because I had too much fun on that first trip.

* I paid the deposit on my Cortez trip last week! The rest of the “tuition” (for lack of better word) will be due no later than June 20th. I will also be one of Doc’s assistants on this trip since I “know [my] critters” so well.

* We have spent the last few weeks (this is a once a week class) entering all of our field study data into the school database for print at the end of the semester. Our last field study at Abalone Cove (entry and pictures to come) was a bit hectic so we had a lot that we needed to take into consideration and the project itself had to be altered due to a recent storm

*Lastly: Doc sent me an email the other day. Just to me, not the rest of the class, asking why i was not enrolled in the upcoming weekend ecology study of the kelp forests just off of Catalina Island and that I had a spot saved for me should i decide to go. So, after talking to mom about it, we came to the decision that I should go. Its mostly snorkeling and would make good practice for Cortez since I have not been snorkeling since I was 9 years old. I was pretty flattered that he sought me out.


Phew. Well thats that in a nutshell. Ill be updating soon!

Encenada Day Two

Morning came quickly for us today. Doc woke us up at 7:30 with “good morning sunshines! Breakfast in a half hour, lecture at 9:30.”

After reviewing what we would be looking for today, we took a walk around the hotel grounds, observing the avian life and their many feeding habits.


When we were semi confident in those particular species found on the hotel grounds, we piled into out cars and started to head out to La Punta Banda (Bandits Point) where we would not only observe more bird life, but we would be digging in the mud to see what they are eating! Unfortunately, We had barely passed out of the hotel gates when Doc’s truck broke down… We sat and sat for about a half hour before he turned us back. We will just have to do today’s lecture tomorrow and vise versa. >


And now we wait for instructions…. At least it’s a nice day!>

Edit: 5:30 pm.

From the point of my last update, the tide hit a -0.4 in the estuary! Although slippery, mucking through the mudflats was a fun and exhilarating experience. (Tee hee. I got muddy!) it’s a whole different world in the fine substrata of the estuary. Clams, fiddler crabs and snails were quite abundant; and then the real fun began when I found several navanax! ;

Ensinada day one!

Hola! Greetings from Estero Beach hotel!

Today I woke up at 8:50 to make sure all my little things were ready to go for my first big excursion! The girls showed up at my place at 9:45 and mom drove us to J’s (the TA) and we all took his car to Ensenada. We didn’t leave till about 10:15. The drive was nice. Long, but nice. It was really exciting once we hit San Yesidro. We got here around 3:30 (the first ones) and already have checked in to our rooms and headed to the restaurant. I was really hungry and the tacos were amazing! Then the four of us went an sat on the break wall. It’s hi-low tide right now.


So now I’m going to just relax and unwind. I’m already missing my family and it’s just starting to hit me just how far you all are. But I’m gonna have a great time. Tomorrow we drive more. An hour further down the coast, do research all day, then an hour back. We have to meet up with Doc at 8 for a quiz and the itinerary. Maybe I’ll take a nap…



Day Two in the field – Aboard the RVC Yellowtail!

This last saturday saw me waking up at 5am to finish packing for my first cruise study out of the San Pedro Harbor! Kelsey met me at my place at 5:30 and mom and dad did the drivng so we could sleep in the car. When we got there, we were the first. The smell of the port was simply saturated with the promise of adventure.

When we finally cast off, we were spread into our groups. I was put as the lead for critter sorting. Whenever we pulled up specimins, it was my job to sort them into their appropriate buckets so that we could examine them. There were two guys inder my direction while doc was off helping another group with water testing. Neither of them could handle picking up these fish or would freak out whenever a shrimp flicked it’s tail at them. I was amused but was having fun teaching them how to properly pick these animals up so that we could actually get our work done. Long story short, we used the otter trawl a And a small bio dredge to understand the creatures that live in different substrates of the San Pedro harbor. At the end of the day, as we were throwing the dead shrimp and flatfish into the harbor, I made a friend. A large sea lion began to swim near my side of the boat and would eat the fish I threw him. It was pretty awesome. Then, the resident biologist showed us Petunia the pelican. Apparently she was found in the harbor, near death and they nursed her back to health. She now stays there at the facility and she even let us get really close to her. We did feed her a little of our catch but she was not very interested. She was more interested in the social aspect of our visit. It was great!






Day one in the field!

Yesterday was a long an fun day! The girls and I piled into my truck and took off to Whites Point where we met up with Doc and the rest of the class. At first, it was just like any other trip to the tidepools but then i noticed that the pools were actually worn channels into sedimentary rock. The softer rock had been long worn away creating a much different micro habitat than that of Leo Carrillo or any other place I have been. It was facinating!  We found two large Sea Hares (my favorite), but i think by far the best find was the abalone. I didnt have a chance to point it out to anyone because we were moving so fast and as a group lead I had to keep up with Doc.  There isnt much to share beyond that, but it was nice to be hands on again and to lead my small group. They seemed to enjoy it except when i ended up flying past them across the rocks. I need to learn to move slower.  Pictures to come! SOrry for the delay, apparently i had this save as a draft when i thought it had been posted.

Preparing for my first day in the field.

Well, Wednesday is the big day, the first day out in the field. Granted, this wont be my first day in the tide pools by far, but it WILL be my first day as a ‘group leader’ (and with an actual class). That is, someone hand picked by my professor that knows the basics of tidepool safety and efficiency. Those who have gone with me know that I move across those rocks like there’s no tomorrow, without slipping, falling or hurting anything. I will be taking lead in group 2 across the pools and helping other students find footing as well as whatever creatures off of our species list all while noting what is or is not safe to pick up or touch. Anything i dont know (and I know there is a lot) of course will be asked to the professor. I am very excited an honored to have this position. Its nice that my knowledge of the rocky inter tidal zone was so readily recognized by the professor; I only hope that I live up to the expectation he has of me. I’ve been reassured by him that he does not expect me to know everything and that hes sure I will do fine! I am super excited.

We will be carpooling down to Royal Palms Beach right after lecture ends on Wednesday. Ill be driving the two girls in my lab group. Neither one of them has a class before we leave like I do, so hopefully they are not late…  I have to get back to my homework which is reading up on my species list and gathering information on them so that I dont forget what things as and relay wrong information to my group.

Have a Great Day Guys!

The Drive to Bahia de Los Angeles Video

Hey everyone! Today I made a point to start thinking not only about the big summer trip, but also about the smaller trip that is coming up very quickly. In looking around the website for a packing list, I came across this video that shows the drive down the Bahia. Im sure most of these sights will be similar at the end of the month. It seems that this trip is rapidly creeping up on me and I am so excited for both! Enjoy the video guys!

What a day…

Today mom and I went to get my passport. What was supposed to be a fast, painless process turned into the race of the snails. We got to the Van Nuys passport office about ten minutes after they opened, so around 11:10 this morning. After waiting in the super long line for over an hour, we are next in line to go inside. A nice employee was checking all my forms and proof of IDs when she told us the bad news. They won’t accept ‘short form’ birth certificates.
So, off we went to the Office of the Registrar. It was just down the street by the court house, but so difficult to find the right building let alone parking! Another hour and a half in line and a trip to the parking meter later, I now have an official ‘long form’ birth certificate.
I’m posting this from my chair actually INSIDE the passport office. It’s now 2:55. That should give you a good idea of how long we had to wait again just to get in! I am number 89, and they are now on 83. When mom and I were allowed in they were on 71. Almost there…. Home stretch. Once I get home, it’s time to hit the books. I have some homework due tomorrow. I don’t know what the rest of the week will bring me but I am very glad that our adventures tee king through Van Nuys is almost over and I’m sure mom is too. I’m just glad I didn’t have to do this alone!


Meet the Keyhole Limpet!

This is an old video. A few years ago, my boyfriend and I went to Leo Carrillo just as the tide went out. We saw the usual things at first: hermit crabs, turban snails, green anemones etc. But then something caught my eye. it was a HUGE keyhole limpet, something I’d only heard mom talk about finding way back when; but to find one on my own was amazing. It wasn’t long before I started seeing them all over the place. It was almost like my eyes and brain had documented the single find only to create a homing beacon for all others in the area.
Anyway, it became very apparent why there were so many. It was mating season. This video shows one of the larger pairs we found. I took the opportunity to document this find for science, although its not like I discovered something new to the world of science, but it was new and exciting to MY world of science. So, I asked my boyfriend (almost has a degree in Marine bio) if it would be ok to lift the top one, so we can get a better look. He said that it would not hurt them nor would it interrupt them, but he would stop lifting as soon as they started resisting him. I asked him to put his hand over it just so you guys could get a better idea of how big they are.