ST: Field Marine Biology – 3100:495(695) – 606/607 (Summer 1; Alternating years)

Boat dock at VIMS Eastern Shore Laboratory
Examining our catch after a trawl

 

Dates June 4th – 13th, 2019
3100 495/695 – 606/607 Special Topics in Biology

(Note that the trip leaves a few days before Summer 1 begins, due to limitations of available space at the Field Stations)

Instructor: Dr. Stephen (Steve) Weeks

Location: The Chesapeake Bay

For more information PLEASE CONTACT STEVE WEEKS

AT
SCW@UAKRON.EDU
OR CALL 330 972-6954


The purpose of the course is Four Fold:

marked map1) To expose students to marine systems
2) To teach basic concepts and facts in marine biology
3) Train students how to observe natural phenomenon in a useful manner
4) Help students develop testable hypotheses from their observations
 
The Course will be taught on site in the Chesapeake Bay region outlined on the map. From the D.C. area to Virginia Beach. Specifically, we will be staying at the VIMS Eastern Shore Laboratory located in Wachapreague, Virginia and at False Cape State Park at the very southern tip of Virgina.
NO Scuba or Snorkeling is Required
Swimming Opportunities Will Abound
 
The dorms at VIMS – Eastern Shore
One of the dorm rooms at VIMS

 

 

What Will We See?

  • Riparian fed Estuaries
  • Salt marsh Estuaries
    Barrier Islands and Spits
  • Coastal Dunes
    High energy (open) Surf Zones
    Protected Surf Zones
  • Many Invertebrate Species
    Many Vertebrate Species
    Many Algal and Plant Species
Salt marsh in Wachapreague
Lab facilities at VIMS
 

 


 

Dr. Moore noting vegetation at False Cape
Tiny turtle!
Sand dunes at False Cape

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Much Will The Trip Cost?

$600 from each student will cover: transportation, housing, daily meals and Boat/Excursion/Entrance fee costs.

Most students like to have a little extra spending money for an occasional trip to a restaurant, snacks, forgotten sunscreen, tee shirts etc.

 

The course is 4 credits. Tuition is not included in the $600 course cost calculation.

Is a deposit required?
Yes. About a week after our organizational meeting we will begin collecting deposits to reserve one of the 12 spots. The deposit will be $50. The remaining $550 will be collected at two other dates during the spring semester.


Seining in the back bay at False Cape
Pulling in the catch!
Assessing the “critter catch” from the seine

 

 

 

 

 

 

What will I need to bring?

We will meet several times before the actual trip to discuss this, but the intent is to not place a burden on you to buy much new gear
You will need:
  • Field cloths/shoes (cloths that you don’t mind getting dirty)
  • Sun and Bug repellent (Bugs are a usually not bad but the sunburns are common for the foolhardy).
  • Swimwear
  • A water bottle
  • A bound notebook and pencils

 


Longnose gar
The dreaded blue crab!
Common carp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How will we get there?
We will be driving in university-provided vans.

Where will we be staying?
The first half of the trip we will stay at the housing facilities at VIMS in Wachapreague. This is a world-class marine field station, and we will have full access to their facilities and boats.The second half of the trip we will stay in a large hunting lodge that has been converted into a field station at False Cape State Park. That park is not accessible by car and we will be ferried in by the State Park personnel. The lodgings are fantastic and we will largely be free from interference from the public.

What about food?
The class will decide, as a group, about food for the trip! Food will be purchased using the funds collected from the students (i.e., from the $600/student).

When possible we will be making our own meals to save money.
At other times we will eat at inexpensive restaurants or will be eating sandwiches, fruit etc.


View from the housing facilities in False Cape
Sunset over the Atlantic
Sunset over the back bay
 What Will We Be Graded On?

We will grade you partly on class participation. The class is fun, but it is on the go and in the field. If you consistently are engaged in our explorations of the beautiful marine and estuarine systems, you will do well.

We will also grade you based on a notebook/journal that you will keep. You should be continuously updating the notebook with your observations (with specifics). As you learn new species, or notice that species are distributed differentially across environments you should record those observations in your notebooks. We are particularly interested in you keeping track of the species you encounter during the trip, and then looking up further information in your field books about these species. In addition, you should note in your journal your reflections on possible experiments you could do and how you would perform them if you could return to VA at a later date.  We will grade these notebooks with an eye toward how you are developing your observational ability, how you’ve documented and further discussed the species you encounter each day, and if you are developing testable research hypotheses.

We will have two field quizzes on the organisms we encountered during our trip: one near the end of each leg of the trip. We expect you to be able to identify the species we saw in the field and then know a bit more about each from looking up information on them.

Finally, after you return from the trip you will need to submit a ~10 page research proposal for work to be done either at VIMS or False Cape. You will use the notes you developed in your notebook/journal to design a hypothetical research project that you would conduct if you were to return to your choice of one or the other field lab.