January 17, 2009
Today is the last day of the J-Term of Marine Biology in the Florida Keys. We spent the morning back in Key West at the NOAA Florida Keys Eco-Discovery center. The multimillion dollar center was opened in 2007 with many interactive exhibits. The center does a great job of summarizing and showing the natural resources in the Florida Keys.
Andrew Bagby looks an aquarium showing hard corals.
Tim Cameron and Jen Hopkins check out the mock-up of NOAA’s undersea lab, Aquarius.
Angie Johnston and Katie Waudby look at videos of the reef in the reef exhibition.
Part of the exhibition included a short video by filmmaker Bob Talbot (he made Free Willy and is known for his stunning still photography featuring dolphns and whales) about the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Mark Kluk, Kelyn Carlson, Jenn Lammers and Nikki Burger search for birds in the mangrove exhibit.
After touring the center, Scott Donahue, the assistant science director for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, talked to us about the history of marine sanctuaries in the Florida Keys and some of the things they have to do when boats and ships run aground in the coral beds and seagrass beds.
As interesting as the center was, most of the students were anxious to get back to SeaCamp for some last minute studying before the final exam at 6:45PM. Before the students scattered to find a quiet spot to think, Lauren Keck presented her species report on the Brown Pelican and Great White Heron.
The chaperones decided to walk out to the sea wall to watch our last sunset in the Keys, but Dr. Carrier couldn’t get away from some last minute questions:
Katie Waudby and Alyssa Porada listen intently to Dr. Carrier as he talks about the process of eutrophication and the threat it poses to aquatic systems.
Laura Niesen, Richard Frenchi, Angie Johnston, Chris Metz, Andrew Bagby, Sarah Schmoke and Lauren Keck at the last SeaCamp dinner!
The final exam came too soon after dinner and afterwards, the students made a mad dash back to their rooms for relaxation and cleaning.
Kelyn Carlson and Jenn Lammers try to make sense of their stuff while packing.
Jen Hopkins and Mikki Burger take time to go over their respective answers on the final exam. Some were in agreement about their answers and others weren’t.
Tomorrow morning, most of the students leave very early on their trips back to the frigid Midwest. We all had a great time and learned a lot but we are looking forward to getting back to our own beds and Dear Old Albion.