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BIO 480 : Spring 2014

Field studies in biology

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Day 06 | Thursday, March 6, 2014

We started the day early with a delicious breakfast at Shipwreck Grill to fuel up for an exciting morning of research. We then traveled to the first sampling site, on a natural dune field, where we set up transects and calculated percent cover of various dune plants using quadrats. The second sampling site, on the filled inlet, was set up the same way, but contained significantly less plant cover. It was interesting to witness the effect of vegetation and the dynamics of the dunes, as it was much colder and windier in the areas with fewer plants. Although the weather was less pleasant than expected, our research was stimulating and enjoyable enough to distract us from the cold and wind! It was impressive how effectively we were able to collaborate as a team to accomplish the research and keep positive attitudes in such wintry conditions

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Unfortunately, the afternoon brought us unexpected news of a ferry shutdown due to bad weather. We were forced to make a change of plans and head North and back through the mainland straight to Beaufort, eliminating Okracoke Island from our week’s itinerary. We stopped for lunch at Top China, a quick and easy Chinese food buffet, to ensure we would make good time driving. Even though the six-hour car ride was not included in the original plan, we made the best of it by using the extra time to study and catch up on sleep. We all agreed that it was rewarding to be able to witness firsthand how storms in the Outer Banks can affect daily life.

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We arrived at the Inlet Inn in Beaufort and enjoyed a delicious dinner at Clawson’s, before settling into our hotel and meeting to discuss the blogs and data from today’s research.

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