14 August 2013

Slide show (Must be downloaded)

Today was an interesting day. First thing in the morning we went to count crabs at Hadley point.

The 1st thing that was done was PhD Disney briefed the teams of volunteers that had showed up. Then the teams were given equipment to conduct the census: a clip board, with pencil, data sheet, and pictures for determining the crab sex; a GPS to determine location; a transect line; a quadrate to make the 25cm X 25cm area of study; and a trowel.

Teams were disbursed along the Hadley Point Beach to begin their survey. It was low water so teams laid  out transects parallel to to the low water line. Standing on the end of the transect one team member threw the quadrate over their shoulder without looking (this was so that the area was random). Next the team marked the area with garden trowels and got the coordinates using the GPS. The teams would then dig down 10 to 15 cm looking for crabs. The results were recorded on the data sheets. This procedure was repeated seven times for each transect.

Each team did transect in three different locations. They were asked to look at the low water line, the mid water line, and the high water line. The Surprisingly enough these surveys resulted in few crabs.

Each team then began a crab hunt. Looking randomly for crabs. At first the results were disappointing. Then we made the discovery that the crabs were hiding on the downward edge of the rocks covered with seaweed covering them. We used this information to discover many more crabs.

Our results were interesting. We discovered more mail crabs than female ones. Not surprising was that the females were smaller that the males.

In the afternoon we again conducted water quality  tests. This time in four different locations. This means that the lab is constantly do tests at eight different sites. I was interested to find out that these tests were conducted biweekly by members of the staff and their results were kept and made available for Maine Department of Marine Resources.

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