Archive for May, 2012

Field exam 2012

May 13, 2012

It was sunny and warm with a just gentle breeze yesterday when first year marine scientists went to Race Rocks to complete their last challenge of the year – the field exam!

Students battled the flies…

the elephant seals…

and the goslings!

They managed to collect data and answer exam questions about tide height…

…tidepool temperature and salinity…


and other cool stuff.

It was a very successful afternoon at Race Rocks!

Field exam postponed :(

May 9, 2012

Due to strong winds and big swells, the 2012 first year exam that was supposed to take place at Race Rocks this morning was cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date.

At 6:30 am Mike was observing winds up to 24 knots at Race Rocks and given the forecast for increasing wind (see below), we decided to postpone the field exam.

Forecast Issued 04:00 AM PDT 09 May 2012 for Juan de Fuca Strait:

Gale warning in effect.
Wind west 20 to 30 knots increasing to 30 to 40 this afternoon then diminishing to 20 near midnight. Wind becoming west 10 to 20 Thursday morning then increasing to 20 to 30 Thursday afternoon. Wind diminishing to west 10 to 15 Thursday evening.

Source: Environment Canada Weather Office

T-shirts & octopuses

May 3, 2012

Here is what the latest Marine Science t-shirt will look like:

Lucas drew the octopus (that will be slightly larger than shown above) and combined various designs submitted by students to produce this work of art.

And speaking of octopuses, the link below is to an article about an octopus catching and consuming a gull at the breakwater in Victoria.  Wow!

A gull-eating octopus in Victoria, BC

Biodiversity and diverse footwear

May 2, 2012

This morning first year marine scientists ventured out to collect data that they used to compare the biodiversity of two areas that they selected.

Ela (in the yellow boots above) compared the diversity of organisms in two areas of the rocky intertidal – one that is regularly exposed to freshwater from a drain pipe and one that is not near the drain pipe outlet (in the very upper left of the photo above).

Angela and Jessica (both close to the water level in the photo above) each investigated the effect of height in the intertidal on diversity.

Angela (above) again identifying and counting organisms in the low intertidal.

Miguel (blue fins) and Mariana (yellow fins) chose to focus only on sea star diversity.  They got into their wetsuits at 7 am! and jumped into the water to compare the diversity of sea stars near the Pearson College docks and a short distance away from the docks.

Jon elected to sample plankton at the mouth of Pedder Bay and near the Pearson College docks. While there is no photographic evidence of his work he learned that there is a great deal of diversity in the plankton sampled at both locations!