Today I had a field trip out to the Biological Station again for my Marine Methods course. The course teaches you different sampling methods for various substrates and depending on the aim of your experiment. Previously we did the typical rocky shore intertidal sampling with the squares, but today we played with trawls and dredges. It was cool being on the boat and the weather was perfect!! I have just been so lucky this semester with great weather on all of my field trips.
We pulled up different organisms based on the device used. The first was a grab, which we used on soft sediment, only home to a few worms and broken shells - not a very exciting start to the day.
Next we used the bottom trawl. We pulled up mostly sea cucumbers and hagfish (gross!!), and even quite a few small sharks (one variety is bioluminescent), a skate, halibut (one adult, and some juveniles - cool stuff), and some other fish species.
Finally we took three samples with the triangle dredge. The first going up from greater than 400m depth and up to 200-something meters. In that sample we mostly found sponges, which are typical on the submarine mountain side, anenomies and some sea stars. The next sample was taken farther from land and there was a lot of garbage!!! But there were also lots of various crabs, sea urchins and sea stars. The last sample was mostly rock (due to the increased current), and therefore, we mainly found bivalves and sea stars.