By: Katie MacDonald, PhD

Posted: October 20, 2015
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Faculty Post

Resource Management Field Exercises

Turks and Caicos Islands

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for five weeks. While I originally thought I was going to like Marine Ecology the most out of my classes, something about Resource Management has really started to capture my interest. I find Resource Management has a many practical implications that I find interesting as a Conservation major.

So far we’ve had two big assignments, a stock assessment and a conch assessment. The stock assessment required a lot of Excel use, and had us trying to answer questions of management solely mathematically. I actually had a lot of fun with it, but it did require some patience sitting in the classroom for what felt like forever!

The other assignment we’ve done was a bit more fun for everyone, especially those whom, unlike me, don’t love sitting around and crunching statistics. For our Conch Field Exercise we went out in teams of six students to sites inside and outside of the East Harbor Conch and Lobster Reserve, where we placed three belt transects and took habitat data and sampled for conch.

When we found conch, we took measurements of the siphonal length and shell lip thickness. My group found 159 conch individuals at our last site, which was pretty challenging. What I did really like was that we got to spend 2 days straight in the water without our regular morning classes. We have been working on the write up today. I spent most of the yesterday staring at a computer running the statistical analysis, and today I’ve been writing the results section. Hopefully we finish up soon so we can all start studying for the exams we have next week!

Conch on a belt transect. Photo: Tessa Foster

My group sampling for conch. Photo: Tessa Foster

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