The tenth day of the class began with a brief visit to the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF) to listen to a presentation on the impacts of climate change on the islands of Palau by Dr. Pat Colin.
After the presentation, we headed to the Palau International Coral Reef Center where we hopped on a boat and went on a bumpy 30 minute ride to Jellyfish Lake.
Once we arrived at the lake, a bit beaten and battered from the boat ride, Gerda Ucharm, a research biologist for CRRF, gave us a brief overview of what we would see in the lake and the life cycle of their world famous jellyfish.
Once everyone was ready and had their snorkel gear on, we jumped in the water and were greeted by the most amazing scene we had ever seen.
Jellyfish are not, however, the only residents of the lake. There are also a few endemic species of fish and anemones, of which, three are pictured below.
After snorkeling Jellyfish Lake for about an hour, we went and had lunch on a nearby beach and then went for a short snorkel.
After we returned to dry land, we headed over to Palau Community College (PCC) where we learned how to weave palm fronds into pallets to be used on the roof of a traditional bai, or men’s meeting house. According to the president of PCC, they need approximately 2,000 pallets to cover the roof (I was only able to make two in an hour).
After working up a big appetite making pallets, we ended our evening at the Rock Island Cafe where we had pizza, pasta, burritos, and sundaes.
Dylan Heppell, Environmental Sciences, Class of 2022