Showing posts from September, 2012

Hidden Microscopic World

My research is on the diatom communities of the Everglades. These silicious, environmentally sensitive algae like to live buried within a complex biofilm called periphyton.With the naked eye, periphyton just looks like muck or scum. But there is a hidden microscopic world that is quite fascinating and even beautiful.

Everglades fashion: clean clothes are out of style

Whether we are working in the field or in the lab, the things we have to wear to do our work make us stand out from the undergrad crowd at our universities. Below, I have listed the latest styles for Fall 2012 Everglades research:

Tannin-dyed Pants

Above is a picture of pants that I wear in the field. These pants are naturally tie-dyed with streaks of grey and orange from various organic compounds floating around in the water. The key rule in Everglades fashion is to never wear anything nice or new, so these khaki pants that I’ve had since 9th grade are perfect for the field.

Awesome research animals!

Good morning everyone,
This blog is a tribute to all the animals that get caught up in science. Without their help, we would know alot less about the environment and the natural resources we all love!

Epiphanies in Ecology

For Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) research in the Seagrass Ecosystems Lab, we venture out into Florida Bay every two months to do a survey of the submerged aquatic vegetation (seagrasses and macroalgae).As I mentioned in my last post (Florida Bay:  Beneath the Surface) Florida Bay is a honeycomb of basins, which creates different habitat types.These different habitats, specifically the type and density of vegetation on the floor and sediment type (and many other factors that are beyond the scope of this post), attribute to the color of the water.In a single LTER trip, we see water ranging from deep blue to teal, green, and even brown!After 2 years of running the LTER project for our lab, I am still amazed by the dynamic nature of Florida Bay on the surface and below.

Fish on the Move

Our full time bloggers are recovering from the FCE-LTER Beach BBQ this weekend so we've asked Mike Bush from the Department of Biology to talk about his research on fish movement in the Everglades.
Identifying patterns of animal movement is an important part of most conservation programs. As Everglades restoration continues, identifying how fishes respond to changes in water flow, removal of levees, etc. will provide us with important information about how restoration is changing the Everglades. I’m going to briefly discuss some of my work with large fish movement in the central Everglades.

Sea-level research at 8000 feet

In continuation of Ann’s post a couple weeks back, conferences and meetings are very important in becoming a successful and knowledgeable graduate student. Currently, I am in Estes Park, Colorado, which is about 1.5 hours outside Denver and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park for the Long-Term Ecological Research All-Scientists Meeting. In a nut-shell, this meeting is held once every three years and brings together scientists and researchers from 26 LTER sites around the country and around the world. This meeting differs from a conference by being primarily focused on cross-site and interdisciplinary collaboration. This is done by holding working group discussion sessions surrounding a particular topic. Scientist that are interested in that topic can participate in a discussion session that has a specific outcome; typically information exchange, brainstorming, or a product such as data analysis or a journal article.

Leaky Levees

Our regular bloggers are out gathering data so today we have a guest blogger, Stephanie Long from the Department of Earth and Environment.  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Despite all of the extreme weather reporting and constant television coverage, Hurricane Isaac was just another storm for most of South Floridians. The only trouble the storm brought us was copious amounts of rain. So when I got a chance to go take samples along the L30 Levee just three days after the storm had passed, I was given a very fundamental lesson in South Florida hydrogeology.