SSTRIDE Biology Students go on Field Trip
On April 18th the SSTRIDE biology students went on a field trip to Dauphin Island, AL., to study Marine plants and animals. After the students arrived, they went to a short class where they learned about the things they would see in the estuaries and swamps.
The students then took a ride to the estuaries surrounding Mobile Bay and were given a lesson on how to use seine nets. A seine net is a long narrow mesh net that is held vertically by two people on each end, it has weights on the bottom and floats on the top. The students drug the net through waist-deep water to corral and catch fish. The students placed their findings in large buckets which they later explored with their guide. Because estuaries are where young animals go to grow up before leaving to the ocean, most of the students findings were immature sea animals such as baby shrimp, crabs, snails, oysters, and fish. They were placed in small clear containers and passed around the group so everyone could get a closer look.
After lunch, the students boarded the research boat that they would be riding for the remainder of the trip. The boat had a drag net on the back in which the boat’s crew dropped into the water to collect marine animals, much like the seine nets. On the boat students were asked to gather around a large table where the animals caught were gathered. The students took turns passing around marine animals such as stargazers, flounder, shrimp, anchovies, soft shell crabs and more. Elise Medlock, a student who went on the field trip said “My favorite part of the trip was when we went on the boat. I got to learn things about the sea with my fellow classmates while also having a fun time”