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Ecology of Atlantic Shores

Clark University Fall 2008
Biology 201

Class at Nonsuch Island

What is this Website?
    This course is designed to allow students to design and implement two studies, one in Nahant, Massachusetts on a Northerly Atlantic shore and one in Bermuda, a more Southerly Atlantic shore. We were able to design completely independent projects and were given time in which we were in the field conducting our experiments. This website represents the culmination of these two projects, and also includes data from a pre-field study the class conducted at Clark University. For more information, click on one of the links above, or continue reading.

                    Tip for the reader:
                       For some of the less-commonly known words, if you place your cursor over the words highlighted in blue, a definition of                             the word will automatically pop up.

Nahant-Centered Project
        In this project, I focused on three aspects of water composition of a variety of tide pools in a high rocky intertidal zone found at the Northeastern University Marine Center. I was able to look at the water quality of six specific tidepools and manipulate the outside environment in order to determine the effect of light on the pH of the water, the salinity, and the dissolved oxygen levels found in the water - and ultimately on the organisms living in the pools. How do snails and algae behave when their lights are turned out, and what happens to the water they call home? Splash!

Bermuda-Centered Project
As a part of the course, we travelled to the warmer shores of Bermuda to conduct another field study. In this project, I focused on the habits of the fish family Scaridae - more commonly known as Parrotfish - and their roles as herbivores in the coral reef ecosystem. I tracked two species of Parrotfish and observed their feeding behaviors as well as the numbers of bites on the rocky substrate. Why follow giant beautiful fish for hours a day? Snorkel with me and find out!

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