This weekend was our second fieldtrip for marine biology. We drove about 5 hours to a town called Charleston. It’s a pretty small town holding a few restaurants, two tiny supermarkets, and the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. We stayed in the OIMB dorms for our two nights there. On Saturday we got a tour of the facilities, toured the Charleston Marine Life Center, and then went to Cape Arago to collect data for our various projects.
OIMB’s facilities were pretty cool. They have an ocean table in each classroom. Basically, it’s a room-length shallow sink which has water running to it from the ocean. This allows them to set up a lot of tanks to observe marine life. Apparently, instead of having a couple classes that are an hour or two long on multiple days of the week, classes at OIMB last a full day (8:30am-5pm) but only happen once a week. The time in class is used for a short lecture then work on projects and/or field trips.
After the tour and seeing all their cool creatures we went to tour the Charleston Marine Life Center. It’s an educational center that’s part museum, part aquarium. They have lots of cool sea creatures on the first floor including a giant Pacific octopus! Upstairs they have a huge collection of sea shells, some skeletons, and a huge whale skull.
After lunch, we headed out to Cape Arago to collect data for our projects as the tide went out. My team was looking at the sizes of different anemones in the presence or absence of potentially competing species in each tide pool. While we were waiting for the tide to go down, we saw sealions, seals, and even a gray whale!
It was a great trip and I really enjoyed how much it added to my experience in marine biology.
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