Last days in the field!

Well, I certainly lucked out with having so much time here in Australia.  The weather and waves did not cooperate for me in July; however, I was able to finally squeeze in my last 3 sites, mostly in the last 4 days that I had planned on doing work in Sydney.  Crazy.

The last few days were extra enjoyable, mostly because the weather and waves had cleared to stellar conditions and I even had some company for two of my 3 days.  I met a new friend in Uluru from Japan who came to Sydney afterwards for a holiday.  She asked to come along with me on my research, and considering this site was nearly 3 and half hours round trip on the bus, I was happy for the company.  She doesn’t speak English all that well, but seemed to enjoy being out in the intertidal.  I taught her the names of the two species that I have worked on in the area and the one that I am working on currently.  She kept saying “pain” every time I took a tissue biopsy.  I tried to explain that there was little pain and that they regrow the tissue quickly.  She kept saying it though, I think just to get a razz out of me.

My second field assistant is my friend Emily Shepard from the EAPSI program.  She was in town for our Program Debriefing (Post coming soon), and asked if she could come along with me in the field.  The day that she picked was as good as it gets.  We had a super low tide, a bright sunny day, and no waves whatsoever.  We even got two sites sampled that day, even with a 25 min bus ride between them.  She seemed to think that I had it easy here, and that she had picked the wrong field to study.  I tried to tell her how extraordinarily nice this day was, but I am not so sure if she believed me.  We even managed to find a way onto the epic Manly Ferry for our return home.

Anyway, here is a shout-out to her blog: iwassayingboourns.blogspot.com

My last and final day of sampling was another Sydney public transit epic.  50 mins on the train and then 45 mins on my bike.  It was another great day, so I just soaked it all in, knowing that soon I would be back home, slaving away on my Dissertation.  Sampling went along without a hitch and I biked back into town, found some decent Indian food for a triumphant dinner, and called my EAPSI Field Season closed and completely successful.

It still had to ride the train back though.

 

And bike home from the train station….

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North Head

After my sampling at Shelley Beach, I took a bike ride all the way down to the southern tip of North Head.  It’s part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, and they have some walking trails and lookouts.  Check out some of the sites below and for the full album check out FB.

What a view.  I was riding my bike along the trail and you suddenly come out of all this bush and see this breathtaking vista.  I literally stopped in my tracks and said “Holy Crap!” This was much to the amusement of the couple who were sitting right above the trail at the lookout.  Amazingly, they quickly pegged me as an American.

A stitched together panorama.

Quite a coastline to the North.  I don’t think I will be getting down there for any samples.

I thought this was an interesting site. It’s a half sunken boat being towed into the harbor. I later heard on the news that day that it was a sailing yacht that possibly hit a whale. Had a one foot diameter hole in the hull. The man was rescued, ironically, by a whale watching boat.

AAS Ocean Acidification Conference

As chance would have it, my new surrogate lab was attending a meeting up in Canberra that almost perfectly coincided with the end of my AAS Orientation.  So, as my AAS EAPSI orientation came to a close, I had to make the long and arduous walk across the road to the AAS Ocean Acidification Conference.  There, I met up with everyone and had a chance to hangout with my labmates in a bit of a relaxed setting.

Look at those eager young scientists! The Complete Byrne Lab (attending the conference)
From left to right: Me, Steve Doo, Dr. Maria Byrne, Kenny de Wolfe, Hong Dao Nguyen, Melanie Ho, and Ash.  Thanks to Mel and Hong for the pics!

We also heard some really fascinating talks about Ocean Acidification from people all over Australia and the world.  I’ll save you the finer details of the talks, but leave you with one very simple message:

Our world, and every organism in it, is facing a rapidly changing atmosphere and ocean.  Climate change and Ocean Change which includes ocean acidification, ocean warming, and rising sea levels are FACTS and are unavoidable.  The continuous emission of Carbon Dioxide gas into the atmosphere has the potential to change every ecosystem on earth beyond recognition in potentially as little as 3 human generations.