Showing posts from March, 2011

Marine Ecology Fieldtrip

Saturday morning I was up at 6AM to catch the 7AM bus up to the Leigh Marine Laboratory at Goat Island Marine Reserve for Marine Ecology. Saturday's lab work was focused on ammonium and nitrite uptake by various seaweed species. We measured the amount of nutrient uptake by sampling the seawater solution and measuring the absorbance in the spectrophotometer.
On Sunday, we were quantifying diversity at the marine reserve at three different sites (Echinoderm Reef, Homosira Reef, Waterfall Reef). Echinoderm reef was by far the most interesting. We found numerous species of sea stars, a little red flatworm (which are beautiful to see swim), some little orange crabs, orange golfball sponge, and OCTOPUS! It was SOOO cool! Wish I had brought my camera out to the flats to take a photo of it. It wasn't very big, but it was amazing seeing it change color to blend in with the rocks that it was trying to hide next to. A very exciting end to the field trip!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Tahuna Torea

First field trip of the semester was for Conservation Biology at Tahuna Torea reserve, just 10 minutes from the Tamaki campus. It gave us different field techniques for ecological assessments. In the end we selected an area that we wanted to study, and my group chose water quality. We will be conducting our own assessment and then presenting our findings in a report and to the class in May.
[The study area- Tahuna Torea reserve] [Identifying vertebrate pests - hedgehog prints] [Stuck in the mangrove mud] [The sock on the left, my right, used to be equally white] [Counting and identifying shorebirds] [Ending the day with some of my homemade chili for dinner]

Tsunami Warning!

Tsunami warning was issued for Auckland around 6:45AM Saturday, March 12.
The only reports of a tsunami was on the east coast of the North Island, near Tauranga, that was 1 metre in height. But it co-occurred with the low tide, so no damage was done.
The earthquake in Japan makes Christchurch look so whimpy! Thoughts and prayers out to, my flatmate, Rie's friends and family in Osaka!

The Running Project II: Map


The Running Project II

I have now run about 350ish kilometers. That takes brings me to New Plymouth.
It is home to Mt. Taranaki, which can be seen from the plane as you fly from Auckland to Queenstown on a clear day. When Marius came to visit me in January 2010, we climbed up to the 2,518m high mountain (one of the most spherical volcanic cones in the world)...not all the way to the top though. We had a steep 1.5 hr hike up the mountain when we were then stopped by the chilly breeze and clouds that encircled us. It was indeed a great walk!
Remember, Marius, "this is a REAL mountain!"
If you are in the area, I recommend a hike to the translator tower on Mt. Taranaki. The view is great (when the clouds are gone) and it really shows you how good of shape you are in. Marius and I then camped at a local holiday park, walking distance from the city center.

Hugs and kisses to my dear Grandma Joyce

This is dedicated to my loving Grandma Joyce. It is so hard being on the other side of the world and finding out that a family member passed away. She was always so happy and made us all laugh. She taught me how to swim and gave me my sweet tooth. I'll always remember how she had her bag of gummy bears and after dinner she'd have a row of gummy bears on her tv tray for dessert. Every week when I talk to my parents I always look forward to the updates about Grandma Joyce. She loved a good scotch at the end of the day. One of the toughest and most inspiring women I will ever have known. I love you, Grandma. "Have a happy forever."
I will forever miss her singing "Happy Birthday" to me. The song (we think) she always played on the piano: Tenderly

Some Grandma-isms: -One, two, three, four, five, six, seven...all God's children go to heaven. -Have a happy forever. -Hugs and kisses! -I don't like reading very much. -[Having broccoli with dinner] What's this? …