Week 7: Beginning the Analysis

So much has already happened this week that I’m going to get ahead on my next post before the weekend starts.

When I returned from Willapa Bay, I thought everything was going to get back into routine, but no! Now that my foot is (mostly) better, I can get back into field work! After looking at our data from the fish traps in Willapa, our lab tech thought that although the traps we were using looked pretty much the same as the set of traps they used a couple years ago, they might be different enough that we cannot compare data between the two. This week, we set out to determine if the trap data is similar between the old and new traps by putting out several replicates of pairs of each along the shore next to the HMSC Visitor’s Center. Unfortunately, so far we have not caught very many fish, so we may not be able to tell, but hopefully we will put more out next week in a different location and see what we get.

This week was also my 21st birthday! A small group of friends came over to my house and we had a wonderful time. Despite the fact that our oven is not currently working, one of my housemates managed to make me a no-bake cake, which turned out to be delicious.


The no-bake cake my housemate made

I also managed to go diving with some friends off the South Jetty in Newport earlier this week. There was a good-sized group of us, so after a few issues with gear on multiple people, it was a short dive in which we kicked up a lot of sediment, but I still had a great time. For my birthday I got a new camera with underwater housing, so I was eager to try it out on the dive, but we couldn’t see much at the bottom. My best, but still not great, picture (below) was taken while we were still on the surface, in the shallows. I’m looking forward to another opportunity in which I can try out my camera.


A sea star in the shallows in Newport

Last, but not least, I started analysis of the video we took with the GoPros in Willapa. I’ve gotten through one day’s worth of video so far (and seen about 200 fish), so it’s going to take me a long time. I hope we can finish the video analysis and start some statistics before my internship is over! I really want to see the data that I helped collect go through the process and come out with some results, in addition to getting some more practice using GIS and R.

I’m also taking a boat education course online so that I can drive the boat when we take more video here in Newport in Yaquina Bay, which should be happening next week. My workload is picking up quickly, but it’s all very exciting, and I can’t wait to see what these last couple weeks have in store for me.

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About Sarah Heidmann

I was an undergraduate Summer Scholar in 2013, working with the USDA-ARS on recording GoPro footage of fish and invertebrate use of estuarine habitats in Yaquina Bay and Willapa Bay, WA. I am now coordinating the 2015 program, mentoring the students and using Twitter as an engagement tool. I am a recent graduate of marine biology at Oregon State University, and will begin a Masters of Marine and Environmental Science degree at the University of the Virgin Islands in the fall of 2015.

2 thoughts on “Week 7: Beginning the Analysis

  1. Great sea star pic, Sarah. And happy birthday.

    I look forward to learning if the new traps are any better than the old traps, and if changing the trap location helps. Do you have a hypothesis?

  2. Thanks Eric! It seems like the old traps are catching more fish, and definitely more crabs than the new ones. We aren’t sure why though, because they look more or less the same, other than the main difference that the old ones have mesh on the back, while the new ones have small holes drilled in. But why would that matter? One of my guesses is there is better water flow through the mesh, so it is easier for the fish to be swept in.

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