While the rest of Hatfield was still quiet and unstirring in the early morning hours, Ariana de Souza and I were making our way into the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development. We walked down the unusually empty hallway to get suited up. We quickly pulled on our waders and headed out onto the Yaquina bay mudflats with our supervisor, Jim Kaldy. The sun was just starting to say hello, yet the lights around the bay still twinkled against the cloudy sky.
Our goal that morning was to collect over two hundred Zostera marina plants before the tide covered them again. I had the best time crawling around in the mud, despite the early wake up time. There was something serene in the air that morning and the water was surprisingly warm.
It has been a few weeks since we collected the Zostera marina plants.They are now settled into their new homes in the lab. These plants are a part of an ongoing mesocosm experiment. As the weeks go by, we are monitoring the salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, chlorophyll a and temperature of the water inside the various tanks.
Say tuned to hear about how the mesocosm experiment progresses!