Marine Field Research

Went up near Leigh, where the marine laboratory is, to Whangateau Harbour for some field research. Recently there has been a massive mortality of a species of bivalves called Cockles, similar to clams. They are an important recreational shellfish and have an important role in the ecology of the harbour. From January 2009 to mid April, thousands of cockles have died and the marine biologists up at Leigh do not know why. Our class assisted the biologists by collecting data to help in the investigation of the recent cockle mortality. We split into groups of 5 and had to take random samples from selected points as the tide went out. I was in charge of writing down observations and tallying up the cockles [living] and cluckers [dead]. It was a long but interesting day. I was soaked from the knees down all day and at random times there was pouring rain and wind gusts. After being gone 8 hours, I arrived home and took a nice hot shower to warm up. It was pretty sweet knowing that we contributed to an actual environmental issue.

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