Life is rough. I spent most of the day yesterday on the beach. And I did it in the name of science!
My advisor Jen, undergrad volunteer Niko and I joined with scientists from the National Park Service and volunteers from the Cabrillo National Monument to survey the intertidal animals and seaweeds in the Scripps Coastal Reserve, right next to the Scripps campus in La Jolla. It was a warm and sunny low tide and we counted a lot of seaweed and luxuriant emerald green surfgrass, plenty of mussels and barnacles, some friendly seabirds hunting for lunch, and although there were a few close calls, nobody fell into the water. Success!
This research is part of a regular monitoring program that has been going on for several decades, with a goal of monitoring long-term patterns in coastal marine ecosystems.
Bonus marine life find: an octopus scooting around in the tidepools. He was not part of our official survey, but we still gave him some attention. Watch the video here.