|Students gathered data at one of the KML Living Laboratory Near-shore Benthic Monitoring sites|
|photos by T Bartlett|
|Learning water sampling techniques at a Florida Bay site|
|Heading back to KML after a day of snorkeling|
Moving off the reef into deep water, students paired up to see how well they could navigate (ie swim a straight line) without visual references, such as being able to see the bottom. Students all agreed that they would make very poor fish. In another exercise, they were challenged to detect sounds of varying frequencies, while under water at varying depths and distances from the sound source.
Dr. Kajiura and his grad students are frequent visitors to KML, studying elasmobranch sensory abilities.
They spent a rigorous week at the lab, learning about the various habitats, marine life, and designing experiments for class presentations.
Students collecting data at the Bamboo Key Living Lab site
Once back in Idaho, the students signed their U. Idaho pennant, which now hangs in the Who's Who at KML display in our Classroom.
Also down from FGCU was Dr. Robert Erdman's Invertebrates class. Students snorkeled various habitats, including seagrassbeds, mangroves, intertidal zones, and patch reefs, collecting and identifying animals for their studies. One of the days' highlights included the thrill of observing an 8' Hammerhead chasing fish near-by!
Clemson University and the KML Living Laboratory.
The Clemson University Conservation of Marine Resources creative inquiry team participated in the first biodiversity census of the KML Living Laboratory.
Learning the Biodiversity of the Keys.
The CMR team, under the direction of Dr. Michael Childress, helped set-up and census four biodiversity plots including one in the hardbottom habitat adjacent to the Keys Marine Laboratory.
Learning to Measure Biodiversity.
Graduate student teaching assistant TJ Jordan leads the students through a dry-run of the data collection methods that use line, belt and whole plot census methods to enumerate the density of benthic invertebrates and fishes.
Laying Out a Census Plot
Dr. Michael Childress directed CMR students in the all-important placement of grid lines prior to data collection. He then snorkeled amongst them to answer questions and assist in correctly identifying organisms.
Taking Data While on Snorkel
The CMR students collected data on the type of benthic substrate and the density of sponges, corals, octocorals, anemones, echinoderms, mollusks, crustacaeans, and benthic fishes.
Assessing the Impact of Mass Sponge Mortality
In the fall of 2007, a mass sponge mortality occurred on Florida Bay side of Long Key killing a majority of large sponges such as this ancient loggerhead sponge. The KML Living laboratory project will monitor and document the changes in biodiversity on both impacted and non-impacted sites to assess the impact of this most recent disturbance.
KML Living Laboratory Seeks Volunteers
Classes visiting KML are invited to participate in the KML Living Laboratory project. For more information regarding how to get involved please contact KML staff biologist Cindy Lewis