January Expedition Journal

Research Plan

Saturday, January 20

All Argonauts
Arrive at Keys Marine Laboratory. Pickup gear. General orientation and safety briefing.

Sunday, January 21

All Argonauts
Presentations by scientists. Demonstration of JASON Online Systems. Post messages to say "We've arrived!" Swim tests for all students. Skin Diving certification.

Monday, January 22

Crocodile Team
Morning: Orientation to Florida Bay crocodile research. What areas are important for crocs? where they are in relation to where we are? Instruction in reading charts/compasses/navigation. Discussion about preparing for field work, and collecting field data. If possible, Laura would like to get a live animal (alligator or croc.) in the lab to show students what to expect and how to work safely around the animals.

Afternoon and Evening: Field Work Visit and map area to be surveyed that night. Conduct night survey (7:00 pm -- 11:00 +).

Florida Bay Team
Begin PhytoPlankton Study
Morning: Two students will go out on a Cessna 170 to conduct aerial reconnaissance and take pictures and take GPS readings. The rest of the students will go out on boats to collect water samples at six sampling stations.

Afternoon: Develop map from aerial surveys and conduct lab analysis of collected water samples.

Tuesday, January 23

Crocodile Team
Morning: Planning Field Work Discuss planning that needs to be done, and have students help plan what areas to survey during the rest of the week. Discuss factors that might influence schedule -- weather, boat problems. Use JASON Online Systems to report of day’s activities.

Afternoon and Evening: Field Work Visit nest sites and areas to be surveyed that night Conduct night survey

Florida Bay Team
Continue Phytoplankton Study
Morning: Go back out to Florida Bay to collect more water samples.

Afternoon: Lab work and data analysis. The DEP is using this data to create an algae spread map. Begin to create GIS maps using the collected data and compare them to maps of previous data. Post daily journal and findings using JASON Online Systems.

Wednesday, January 24

Crocodile Team
Morning: Databases and working with Data Have students create databases and enter data from Monday and Tuesday. If we have captured animals that were marked, compare new data with original tagging data. Where were the crocs hatched and where have they ended up? If mapping software is available, create data maps from GIS. Use JASON Online Systems to report on activities and findings

Afternoon: Field Work: Visit areas to be surveyed that night (if not the same as previous nights) Conduct night survey

Florida Bay Team
Juvenile Fish and Lobster Studies
Argonauts will divide into two teams. One team will spend the day working on juvenile fish, the other on Spiny lobsters. The fish group will use troll nets and seine nets. They will collect data and make maps. The second group will go in search of post larval lobsters. They will snorkel to catch lobsters. Locations will be chosen based on analysis of phytoplankton map. Later, there will be discussion of the day's work, more GIS and online reporting.

Thursday, January 25

Crocodile Team
Morning: Other wildlife that share the Crocodile habitat Look for terrapins. Possibly trap small mammals. Visit sites to be surveyed Conduct night survey
Florida Bay Team
Continue Juvenile Fish and Lobster Studies
Same plan as Wednesday, but the two groups of students will switch so that everyone has a chance to work both with lobsters and fish.

Friday, January 26

Crocodile Team
Morning: Summarize Data Continue data analysis and computer work. Update using the Online Systems.

Night survey

Florida Bay Team
Morning: Orientation to Conch Aquaculture Program. Perhaps some field work if we have missed a day due to bad weather.

Afternoon: Research summary. Kind of a show-and-tell with the two groups (Florida Bay and Crocs) sharing their findings with one another.

Saturday, January 27

All Argonauts
Go out to the reef. Snorkeling (with wetsuits) if the weather permits. Good bye party. FUN!

Sunday, January 28

All Argonauts
Depart for home.
Back to January Expedition Journal

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Gene Carl Feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Todd Carlo Viola, JASON Foundation for Education (todd@jason.org)
Revised: 13 Jan 1996