Blog 2 Aaron Anthony 8/11-8/22

I act as the grounds crew for Nicole and Matt who have been sailing up the Chesapeake Bay looking for tagged cow nose rays. They have been traveling with biotelemetry data using Vemco receivers (VR2W and VR100) trying to receive data from any tagged fish species swimming by. As grounds crew, I would receive data from Nicole and Matt they would send me the date of the find, time, transmitter number, and the coordinates. I would then take this data and find out the species of the fish, who tagged the fish and where the species were tagged. Then I would place the detection’s on Google Earth along with the paths and anchorage of Matt and Nicole.

James River Species Detections

James River Species Detections

I am able to figure out the species of fish and other information with the help of the crab lab at theSmithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). I have been assisting with the crab lab through my internship with the Ocean research project. Learning about the studies they have at the lab. I have been helping out in a wide range of different labs. I have been helping out with the Chesapeake Bay river herring project where I would count river herring seen swimming through a river with dual- frequency identification sonar to monitor spawning runs through the Chesapeake Bay. I have also assisted with the predator prey interactions of crabs, shrimp and mummichogs. We would tether shrimp and mummichogs and check them over different time intervals of 15 minutes, 30 minutes,45 minutes, 60 minutes then 90 minutes to see if they were preyed upon, missing or if we caught a predator with the hook. For the crab predator prey we went dredging for juvenile crabs. And once we caught a good amount we would bring them back to the lab tether them, place them in one of the locations and check them after 24 hours to see if they were preyed upon. I have also helped with epibenthic fish and crab to understand annual and seasonal changes to community structure and population. For this project we went on a trawl in the Rhode river were we did 4 trawls with a net. We measured each species of fish we caught from bay anchovies to blue crabs. We caught many fish types and we would only measure the first twenty of the fish species. We then put in fishing lines to see if we could catch any striped bass or other fish species.

This internship in all has given me experience in scientific research and a better understanding of organisms in the Chesapeake Bay. I have also had experience in field work, lab work, and work on the computer as well. I am having a great time working here with everyone. In the future I will probably be spending less time at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center now that school is starting up soon. I can still do some work from my home computer such as placing detection marks on google earth but I will be coming in every now and then, when I receive data from Nicole and Matt so I can identify the species and so on.

Hopefully we will find some cownose rays soon.

-Aaron Anthony


Week 1 blog Aaron Anthony Ocean research project 8/4-8/8/2014

The first week is supposed to be the hardest but my experience so far has not been difficult. I have been exposed to many things I didn’t know before and I’m starting to find my interest in marine biology. I haven’t been receiving any date yet from Nicole and Matt but I am still put to work around SERC. I am working with the people of the Crab lab I was shown around the lab and I also have seen the projects there are doing and how long they run most of them have been running for over 10 years and even longer. The first project I assisted with was the Benthic Infauna Invertebrate Community. Infauna means aquatic animals that live in the substrate of a body of water. Benthic is defined as occurring of the bottom of the water. This project was created to see species differing habitats and fluctuating abundances over time and an understanding of the process that regulate their community and population dynamics. The Organisms that mostly live at the bottom of The Rhode River is Macro invertebrates such as crustaceans, mollusks and worms. The team will go out and take benthic samples from sites in the Rhode River. They are taken back and stained with Rose Bengal making the living organisms pink. Once stained samples are looked at through a microscope and are dissected and identified. Finding the species under the microscope was one of the jobs I continually worked on throughout the week I would find one and place them in a petri dish filled with DI water. Another project I helped with was the River Herring project. Using a DIDSON (Dual frequency Identification Sonar) reek by funneling the fish through the weir and at weekly intervals a net is deployed and the fish are studied and classified. We went out on the boat and got in the water to fix the gates where they are breaking and getting older. My first week has been great I will be looking forward to the next week and receiving data from Nicole and Matt.

Aaron Anthony