19 September 2021

Forams on fieldwork

 After the introduction day, and the day we put the mooring out, the time had come for my own day in the field! During low tide, I would take the students into the field to take foraminifera samples. I would do that in two batches; before low tide I would get one half of the students while Jaco did his sedimentological thing with the other half. And when tide would be at its lowest we would swap around. And then it would be time for lunch!

We first had to decide where to take samples. In our old field site I had a routine, but this was all new so we had to make decisions from scratch. I thought the best way of going about it was to first go and identify good potential sites while walking towards the centre of the estuary, and when we would get there, decide which ones we would want to use. We did that, and then we sampled on the way back. I made sure that the students took small samples. I wanted them to be able to count all the Foraminifera in their sample, or at least of a reasonable split of it. And we took coordinates of all of them.

I was teaching so I didn't take many pictures. But here is Jaco's group looking like they are walking on water

The first group and the second group had different ideas about how to sample the various zones in the marsh we had. That is excellent! That is the sort of thing that happens in science. We'll see how they come together.

After both Jaco and me were done sampling with the students, we had lunch. The next step would be to extend our plastic litter picking work, but we found barely any. I then thought I might go and do some proper vegetation identification in the saltmarsh. I had some fun with that! But the students were clearly tired. Well, we had made them come to the bus at 6 AM, so that was understandable. We just let them lounge a bit until we went to the village with the slipway. And when the last student got off the little boat we could call it a day again. Another long day done!

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