Thursday, March 23, 2017

Kelly-Ann UR - What Do You Ask Yourself Before You Swim?

Carly, UR- Back to the grind!

Hi all,

I had a nice, refreshing Spring Break this past week!  Hope everyone is doing well, but back to the grind.  This is my proposal PowerPoint for my upcoming presentation we will be doing in lab this week. I will be going over everything in detail during my presentation, but here is an overview for you all:

Fins and grins,

Monica, UR- Solar Energy

As you all know I am doing my IRP on solar energy. In my introduction I will be talking a little bit about the history of solar and how it is environmentally friendly. Then I will go into what is known about the performance vs the angle of the solar panel. I will state my scientific question: What angle performs best at my location (latitude 29 degrees). I also changed one of my angles again due to new information I found. I will be talking more about why I choose the angles that I did.


  • (3) ECO-WORTHY 20W 12V Solar Panel
  • (3) Unlimited Solar U-MO-0112 mounting kit
  • (3) Metal Fencing Post
  • Protractor
My backyard set up of solar panels

  • Assemble solar panels (will get in more detail during final presentation)
  • Collect data using multimeter (will do demo on how to measure volts and amps)

Projected Graph

My data collection will be getting the volts and amps of each solar panel, multiplying them to get the Watts or power produced. I picked the cluster bar graph because It will overall show my data for each day. Each day I will collect my data at the same time for consistency. I also will be writing the date/outside temperature and weather data.

Steve Cofone, UR - Checking the tide chart and moon phases

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chelsey, UR, Saltwater Tanks and More Saltwater Tanks

Another late post I apologize sincerely,

While I cant find anything on my exact topic because it seems as if no one has done this project before, there is of course a million things on saltwater tanks and the proper way to keep them (salinity levels, how long you should leave a light on for fish, etc.) so I thought it best to put some of my findings on the subject of aquarium tank setup and upkeep on here.

  When starting a saltwater fish tank, the first thing you need is to have the proper water, because if not, your fish or other creatures will die. Purified or distilled water is your best bet at starting your tank out right, although now a days they make all sorts of filters and purifiers to make dirty water safe and clean. Next step is to pick the right salt for your tank and mix it properly (Instant Ocean is the typical choice). Now unless your tank creatures are from brackish waters or a place with higher salinity levels, 35ppt saltwater will be perfect for your tank. Let your tank sit for 12-24 hours before adding any live beings, and measure your salinity levels using a refractometer. Make sure temperature and salinity is adequate and your ready to go!
  Upkeep on saltwater tanks is very important and vital to your tank survival. Make sure to always have some extra salt for when you need to clean your tank and change your water. When changing the water, make sure to measure and record salinity and temperature of your tank, and always use clean water. Too much deviation from original water levels can cause your animals to die or go into shock. Also, when water is evaporated, replace with only fresh water not salt prepared water, because salt remains behind when water is evaporated from a tank.
  This finding about replacing with fresh water is very important to my experiment because now I know to only replace with fresh water, so I do not disrupt the balance of salt when conducting my experiment. Threw my research on the topic I also discovered the right levels of salt I need to start my experiment, 35ppt. I also found out how long to let the saltwater sit first before I start my experiment, 12-24 hours to get accustomed to the water.  I hope to find out more throughout the class and while conducting my research!

Great source on the topic

Chelsey, UR, Methods and Other Fun Stuff

I know this is very over due I won't lie I totally forgot about it and slipped up. So I'm here now to get my blog up to date.

The impact UVB light and a fan system have on the stability of salinity and temperature in a controlled laboratory tank study.


  • 1 Lightbx
  • 1 Fan
  • 2 400-700 nano meter range, 40 watt, 48 inch plant and aquarium lights
  • 7 2.5 gallon aquarium tanks
  • Instant Ocean
  • Distilled water 
  • 3 pieces of live coral 
  • 1 Refractometer
  • 1 thermometer 
  • 1 ruler 
  • 7 water filters

  • Fill tanks to designated water level
  • Let sit overnight
  • Mix instant ocean into water until 35ppt salinity in 6 of the tanks
  • Leave one tank with just distilled water
  • Anchor a piece of coral into three of the saltwater tanks
  • Designate a time frame for lights and fan to be on 
  • Measure salinity, temperature, and water levels daily for two weeks then every two days for remainder of experiment
  • Record results 
I will be using the coral in three of the tanks to see if the live corals also have an effect on changes in salinity and temperature compared to tanks with just salt water. 
This entire project will be done in the lab of Dr Woodall at Daytona State College.
I hope at the end of my project I will have figured out the perfect settings to keep a saltwater tank at while experimenting or just keeping an aquarium of your own. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Lyle UR I Got a barrel full of Plastic

Hey there again! I was back in the l was back in the lab again this week and got some more great results. This oyster was from my third site that i got samples from. This oyster was smaller than the last one at 2 grams but the results weren't to shabby. Last weeks oyster weighing 4 grams produced 12 micro fibers and this week an oyster weighing 2 grams had 9 micro fibers
in it. That is a 4.5 micro fibers per gram. I still used the same methods that I have been doing since I started. The cool thing about this oyster is that most of the micro fibers that I found were red in color unlike most of the others had a blue or green micro fiber inside of them.
I am finding most of the micro fibers within the gills of the oyster. With that being said I don't know if the fibers are being processed and going through the digestion track. Next week being spring break I will either be out on the water doing more research or enjoying bike week, either way im going to enjoy my time away from school and relax a little bit.

Amber Hanick, UR- Here Sharky Sharky Sharky

Hello all,
Rigging the rods
Last Friday 3/3/17 was our second day in the field at Ponce Inlet. Our mission for the day was to shark fish off the shoreline of the Inlet and reel in as many sharks as possible to get an A in the class according to Dr. Woodall haha. As we arrived on the shoreline and began scoping out our field site conditions and area, we concluded first that the pier was no longer going to be the site of our fishing as the whipping wind gusts were crashing waves against the jetty and making the pier unsafe for fishing. We then moved along to site 2, the high energy habitat we seined on our last day in the field. This area was a lot more passive as far as waves and wind was concerned and the only issue now was sand being carried by the wind ending up in places sand should not be. We rigged all the rods up, baited them and began casting our lines out into the inlet. Everyone waited anxiously for one of the rods to show that something was biting and had gotten caught on the circle hooks. Unfortunately, this was not the case and the next 2 and a half hours were spent with lines casted out, close eyes on the rods, but also was bonding time with our classmates and time spent having fun no matter what our field day results turned out to be, and that's what I call optimism in unfortunate circumstances. I believe that our catch was unsuccessful due to the whipping wind gusts at time exceeding 25 mph and the currents being high energy and strong at our site which caused difficulty in luring in the sharks. Since the wind played such a huge factor in our activity and caused changes in our original plans, I decided to create a line graph for my "fun graph" that showed speeds over our study time at the inlet. Even if our day in the field didn't go as desired or as we planned, it was undeniably an adventure, learning experience, and a great day with lots of laughs and fun!
Over and Out,
Enjoying our fun in the sun!

Stephanie Guyotte, UR- Skate break

Raja eglanteria (clearnose skate) (from google)
Raja eglanteria or the clearnose skate is a common skate found off the east coast of the U.S. from Massachusetts to Florida. R. eglanteria migrate down to the warmer waters in the winter to escape to cold and to reproduce. R. eglanteria are oviparous meaning they lay eggs. during mating the male will bite the females pectoral fin to get a grip then will bend its beneath himself and the female, then we all know what happens next. The process can take up to four hours due to the consistence of the males sperm and the fact that the female can store sperm in their shell-secreting oviducal glands for up to tree months for later use. Two eggs are fertilized at once and are released when ready; the second will come out anywhere from minutes to hours after the first. The eggs of R. eglanteria will then plant themselves in the mud below but not fully submerged for after the blastodisc stage small "air" hole(s) open in the shell of the egg and R. eglanteria will circulate the water thru the egg with its forming tail. When R. eglanteria is ready or becomes too big (about 12 weeks) they will rip through the shell and be fully formed. The egg casing then get washed up on shore. The clearnose skate eggs are laid between December and May and a single female can produce up to 66 eggs in one season. Water temperature must be 20 degrees C or the eggs will not survive. Salinity must be 12ppt-35ppt (for adult for sure not sure about eggs).
Formation of blastodisc (b), cleavage(c-e), start of head
formation (f) (source2)  
Last stages of formation (source2)
Almost all of the information gathered about reproduction and skate eggs was obtained in captivity, this is because the clearnose skate in particular just make good specimens to study for their size, availability, and they are easily maintained. The thing is there is not much information about where clearnose skates lay eggs (other than off the coast of Florida) in the wild. I am going to try and see if there is a particular area where they like to lay eggs or if they just let them drop where they are. I have two possible methods; go out and find eggs and note location then clear them from the beach ( I will do this at several different beach locations) then go back the next day at the same time to the same area and try and find new eggs. This will tell me that those eggs have only been there no more than 24 hours, then taking into account tides, currents, and other factors try and calculate how far that egg could have traveled in 24 hours. I could then fish for clearnose skates in this area or muck around and try to find eggs in the water (without disturbing the eggs if possible). This approach has many variables that could make this very inaccurate such as the fact that the egg could have been in the water for days before washing ashore and just trying to calculate something moving through water is very difficult. My other approach is very similar but instead of trying to calculate where they came from, I could look at where the eggs are and are not found on the beach and see if a larger concentration is found in one area over another and again look at tides and currents then trace them back that way, then fish again. Looks like I will be having a beach filled spring break!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Monica Barrick, UR- Getting closer!

One of three solar panels.

I recently got my solar panels I ordered on Amazon and now I'm just waiting for the adjustable solar panel brackets. They should be here by the end of the week, then I will set up my panels at my three different angles. I'm happy I got the adjustable brackets because it will keep my solar panels from moving from strong winds. These solar panels have very good reviews on Amazon but I read one review saying that the wires actually take up a lot of the energy so if its a huge loss of power I may need to get better wires.

This Information is on all solar panels.

 I have learned a lot just by looking at the information on the back of my solar panel.  

Here's what they mean:

Pmax- Maximum Power
Vpm- Maximun Power Voltage
Ipm- Maximun Power Current (AMPS)
Voc- Open Circuit Voltage
Isc- Short Circuit Current

Now to find Pmax you simply multiply Vpm to Ipm. In other words Volts X Amps = Watts. This solar panel has the maximum power of 25 Watts. Open circuit voltage is the maximum possible voltage when the current is zero. Short circuit current is the maximum current when resistance (voltage) is zero. So far so good, can't wait to test these bad boys out.


Christian Vinciquerra UR, Shark fishing wasn't so bad

Last class we met at Ponce Inlet again. I was beyond excited for this one because we were shark fishing. Shark fishing is something I do often but i usually do it from boats not shoreline, so I was a little out of my element. Unfortunately we had to improvise and move locations because of foul weather. There was a reed flag on the lifeguard tower and winds were howling. 
Line in the water
Jetty was all whitecaps
We tried to walk onto the jetty and people were losing their hats. We moved to site 2 from the seining lab in hopes to catch some sharks. Unfortunately we did not catch anything. We were all a tad disappointed, however, it wasn't the worst class I've attended. We literally were fishing for a class and it was relaxing. Just siting in a beach chair on the beach and with a line in the water. I chose to sit on the end of the our class so I didn't talk to Chad or Dr. Woodall too much. I did have the chance to connect with some of the other students and talk. So due to no sharks being caught there is no data I can report this week.

Pam, UR - A girl and her plankton net.

plankton net 80um 
I did a little test today taking a 'student' plankton net to the Tomoka River to see what I could catch. There were some speedy little Cladocera Diplostraca, Water Fleas. They were amazingly fast and furious in their activity. There were several other zooplankton which I have not identified yet. Interestingly the word zooplankton is derived from Greek meaning 'wandering animals'. But this was just a test, sticking my toe in the zoo water so to speak.

What I really want are those beautiful little diatoms. (Not something from a nightmare) When the real search begins in my two research areas the plankton net will be conical, about 5' with a container at the end. The mesh is 80um and the cup at the end with mesh of same size

The microscope I used for the test is also pictured. It had good lighting and focus, but not as close up as I would have wished. But I'm sure the college has some special high power microscope hidden away somewhere.

Carly, UR - Behavioral thermoregulation? behavioral thermoregulation.

"Those of us who love the sea wish everyone would be aware of the need to protect the sea."- Eugenie Clark #InternationalWomensDay
Hey all!

These past couple of weeks have been researching and testing my methods for research.  The first time researching myself I wasn't very successful in finding a lot of information.  Reaching out and asking those who are more familiar or experienced in the subject tends to pay off, so that's what I did. 

I talked with Dr. Osmon, who graced us with her presence the past couple of labs for our shark catching attempts, about my independent research.  She lit up, saying she could send me some documents, which led me to some great research that has been done on the environmental factor correlations with shark and ray movements.

Ambient versus body temperature of endo- and ectotherms
Most sharks (and rays) are ectothermic, meaning they're cold blooded and rely on external sources to regulate their body temperature, some of the most famous being reptiles(like the snake here on the right). The only shark species that are endothermic is the family Lamnidae, also referred to as the mackerel sharks (because that's their preferred food).  Some sharks migrate depending on the temperatures, some stay in their "home range", but overall will respond to temperature through movement.

This led me to my favorite new phrase, behavioral thermoregulation, meaning movement to locate a spatially variable preferred temperature range.  This way of living might contribute to their way of using energy in more efficient ways, like reproduction.  There are many other theories, some tested and some not, but I have a greater understanding of shark movement from this research.

Now as for my own research, figuring out the set up for logging has been a fun ride.  There are a lot of factors to consider, but I also have to remember to keep it simple.  Understanding more about sharks thermoregulation, I'm excited to see which species that I've chosen have any sort of correlation and the differences between them.

Fins and grins,


Casie UR-Watch out for Gators

Lake Monroe, FL
This week I went exploring the far reaches of Volusia county. It took all day and I found some great camping spots along the way! I tested 6 different sites, 3 had known Water Hyacinths in the area and 3 did not. After collecting the samples I dropped them off with Dr. Woodall and she tested for copper in the water.
 Now to back track for a second, my scientific question is "Is there a correlation between copper in the water and the amount of Water Hyacinths in the area?"
She found zero copper in the water samples. I was floored by this discovery! I suppose the question is now answered, though not at all what I was expecting. There seems to be no correlation. Now I must reassess my scientific question and come up with a new question for my IRP.
Now I have the opportunity

Lake Ashby, FL
to explore more reasons why there are Water Hyacinths in some lakes and rivers and why there are none in others. The great exploration continues!

Garth UR - Nothing but, gold...?


                                     Nothing but, Gold...?

If wishes were dreams and dreams were desires, then in fact I would find nothing but gold. Not as much as I might like has come to pass this week for my project, although I have come to specific intellectual milestones. I know what I am doing, where I am going and what needs to be done. In fact, the hardest part is yet to come and much of the leg work has already been finished. Now however it is time to crunch the numbers compile the data and make a few phone calls. Overall, I feel good, however the grindstone still sits wanting. So, it time to hit the old proverbial keyboard and hack away. The other challenge I face is simple, I must convey short sense to my audience of everything I have gleaned worthy of my interpretation to share. So, keep all those positive vibes out there folks and we will see what happens 😉

Dylan Radford UR, Shark Fishing!

Hello Class! Our session this week was a little disappointing I would say. I was really excited to do this lab but unfortunately we didn't catch any sharks. I was hoping to see how we would measure these sharks when we reeled them in. I do have to admit that it wasn't the worst class session ever. I mean we got to sit on the beach all day instead of go to class. I thought that all of the different hooks that we were using were cool!
Everyone having fun!
     While we were sitting on the beach chad told us to look at some birds that were flying by and he said that they were called skimmers. These are a really cool bird because of how they hunt for fish. chad said that they fly right above the water and run the lower beak under the water to scoop up any fish that they see. I thought it was awesome that chad was able to identify that species of bird from so far away.
     This week, because we didn't collect any data, we didn't have a serious graph to do and were told to make up our data. My graphs question was, "which species made up the Greatest Percentage of all sharks caught". Of course we didn't catch any but I pretended that we caught a ton of tiger sharks and no bonnet head or black tip sharks. With my graph I was able to tell that there are more tiger sharks in the area than any other species that I had listed. although I had a great time sitting on the beach I really hope that the next lab we do is more of a success that the lab we just did.

Steve Cofone, UR - Maps, keeping guys from having to ask for directions for 100's of years!

Randomly chosen fishing spots 1-4  Right click, then open in new tab

This is a link to the fishing spots that I drew out of a hat. Its an interactive ARCGIS map.
You can click on the Pins and the info will come up in a pop-up window,  so far its just spot 1 through spot 4.
But as I progress, I will be adding information such as the GPS coordinates, pictures of the spot, date and time I have fished those spots as well as any catch and pertinent information such as moon phase, tide, bait used and weather conditions.
The same link will take you there as I add the information, it will automatically update.

I can also add layers as they come available and I am able to find them, unfortunately Flagler County charges it's residents for GIS information and layers, The most recent aerial photography I found was from 2005, which is irrelevant as Flagler/Palm Coast has changed greatly since then.
I am doing an internship for Flagler County Land Manager for another class I am taking, part of this internship will be using ARCGIS for the county, so maybe I will be able to pull some good layers when I start that work, you will have to "Stay-tuned" to see what I can dig up.

I have also made this into a "collector" app in GIS, this enables me to instantly gather information directly on my phone, whether I have service or not (It will update automatically as I enter back into a service area) and continue my research past this school project and in the future if I desire too.

The random selection worked out well, I got a pretty decent mix of spots, there are 2 intercoastal spots, 1 intracoastal spot, and 1 freshwater lake with surrounding wetlands and water inlets from run-off.

The most exciting thing for myself was the fact that I went into ARCGIS and was able to design and manipulate a map in a relative short amount of time! I took ARCGIS 2040 with Al Hill 2 years ago now, and its good to know that what I learned in that class has stayed with me and is not something I forgot. I wonder sometimes as I have went through school how much of this massive amount of information I will retain when I finally enter the job force?
Doing this part reinforced that I am not only learning the information I am retaining it.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Monica Barrick, UR- Solar Spill or Oil Spill

I was recently able to talk to someone who went to a solar seminar, he gave me some get insight and I have a couple changes. I am going to change my 90 degree angle to 20 degrees. So now my solar panels will be at 0, 20 and 44 degrees. I made those changes because he believes the best angle for our latitude is between 20-25 degrees. I am excited to see my results and being able to conclude which angle is actually has the best solar performance. I also have a better understanding on energy and he recommended getting at least a 12V solar panel. I have ordered my solar panels and I also got poles to mount them on so they will not move if there is wind or rain. Once they arrive, I am going to make sure they work and give more information on them. There's really not much more then that so far but I have such a better understanding on how solar panel works in general.

They are always trying to improve solar panel and I found a really cool idea called  a solar flower.  This is such a great invention, The best part about it is that it is able to retract at anytime so if there is a storm your solar cells will not become damaged. Here is a Video on how they open up.

I hope to have much more information on my next blog, by then I will hopefully have my solar cells up and running!

Garth UR - Mother Nature is a Tough Mentor.

         The ground under a home in Shishmaref, Alaska collapses from erosion

Mother nature is a tough mentor. The more I read and research the more I begin to understand the extent of the damage places like Alaska are beginning to suffer. There is no shortage of reliable information available on climate change in Alaska.

I am still searching for a more narrowed focus of climate data, temperature and rainfall etc.. is an excellent source of current and past weather, temperature and precipitation, although the area is more general and less specific.
"Two pairs of aerial photographs of pond areas in Alaska. The two images on the left show the pond areas in 1951 and images on the right show the same pond areas in 2000. The pond areas shown on top shrunk from 180 to 10 acres, and the pond areas shown in the bottom went from 90 to 4 acres in size."

My research has so far led me on a general overview of what the situation is and how the effects of climate change are a bit worse than I personally had known. In Alaska, the average temperature has increased approximately 3˚F in the summer and 6˚F in the winter, according to the USGCRP (United States Global Chang Research Program). This is nothing to sneeze at. Permafrost is thawing, lakes are drying, shoreline is eroding and ecosystems are shifting. As permafrost thaws the drainage of water increases through soil and as temperatures increase so does evaporation. To every action there is a reaction.

Another unexpected asset to my project has also been OCE1001 Introduction to Oceanography. We are learning the weather cycle and how climate change is a cyclical, cause and effect cycle. Understanding the general principles of weather patterns, ocean and global temperatures, wind and ocean currents allowing me a greater insight into this topic. Carbon dioxide, CFC’s and methane are catching in our atmosphere more quickly than our planet can dissipate them and in this warming blue marble, the science is clear. Unfortunately, the mindset of man is not. Tracking the damage and finding a solution lay yet in the mist.

 USGCRP (2009). Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
"Climate Impacts in Alaska." Https:// Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.           

Stephanie Guyotte, UR- A New Direction

Hello everyone,

Skate egg found by Dr. Woodall last year
I have decided to take my project in a new direction and focus on the collection and identification of skate eggs that have washed up on shore. A possible topic I am thinking about is mapping the location of eggs and then trying to catch that species of skate to see if the skate lay its eggs in the same habitat in which it lives, or do skates find a safer place to lay eggs, or do skates lay their eggs wherever they happen to be . A problem with this is the location of eggs that have washed upon shore is probably no where near where they were laid, so maybe I can determine how long they have been where they are, then look at the tides and try and track the eggs backward getting a rough idea as to where it came from, then fish there.

Possible ID of egg found by Dr. Woodall. This is a Clearnose
 skate (Raja eglanteria)
This is a very rough idea more research will be needed to see if this is feasible. I am currently looking at skates found in Florida and their  reproduction patterns, egg morphology, habitat and biology but am not comfortable posting anything just yet so I will more than likely make an extra post this weekend with some basic information on the specific specie(s) of skates I will be researching.
 Hopefully we will catch some skates this Friday at our shark ID lab to give me a good idea if this could work of not! 

Picture provided by; Florida Museum of Natural History