Another week gone by and now it’s almost time for the midsummer check-in! Last week, I finished up the bivalve attribute spreadsheet. It was very hard work and a lot of reading, but it feels good to complete something. My mentor will be checking it over to see what kind of information we gathered. I hope captured all that data correctly! I think once he has made sure all the information is good, it will be put into the PCEIS database. I’m not sure if I will actually be inputting the data in the database but I guess I’ll find out soon.
I also started a new spreadsheet at the end of last week. This one focuses on the spawning period of bivalves. Right now I am using one book called Reproduction and Development of Marine Invertebrates of the Northern Pacific Coast to get as much information about the spawning seasons of certain species. The book is a bit confusing though. It mentions species on the Pacific coast but then talks about spawning seasons of the species observed in the Atlantic coast. It is important to get information specific to the Pacific coast because even though they are the same species, there might be differences in the spawning seasons based on geographic location. Sometimes it talks about induced spawning seasons in the lab which is not very helpful because I need information about species in their natural habitats. I’m trying to figure out exactly how to capture this data and I predict I will need to speak with my mentor a lot about the problems I am encountering.
But I should address why we are collecting information about spawning seasons. On the Pacific coast there is a phenomenon called upwelling that usually occurs during the summer months. I had never heard of this being from the east coast, but my mentor told me that it is very relevant on the west coast. Upwelling occurs when the wind pushes the surface water out to sea and water from the deeper part of the ocean comes up to the coast (apparently that’s a contributing factor as to why the water is so cold here during the summer). This deeper water is thought to be more corrosive and can have negative effects on the bivalve larvae and juveniles, especially if their spawning season is during the summer.
So for this week, I will be “data mining” with the reproduction and development book. My mentor also mentioned that I would probably be helping with some more Powerpoint visuals for the database and eventual website for PCEIS.
This past weekend was fun. I went crabbing with some friends. I hadn’t been crabbing in probably ten years so it was great experiencing it again. Unfortunately we didn’t get to keep any of the crabs we caught because most of them were Dungeness females or too small. We did catch some red rock but not enough to feed ourselves, which was the plan. They were just thrown back into the ocean. One day we’ll get enough so we can have a crab dinner!
Yesterday, some Sea Grant friends and I went sandboarding. It was totally awesome! I was a bit scared at first because I had been snowboarding before and I hadn’t been very good at it. Also the dunes we boarded on were a bit intimidating but once I got the hang of it, it was great! The one downside was the trek back up the dune after you went down, but I would still highly recommend sandboarding!