Friday, August 7, 2009

BEAR Spawning and Sky watch 2009!

For those of you who do not know, our Miami research group is officially called the BEAR unit (Benthic Ecosystem Assessment and Research) and thanks to Abel Valdivia, we now have a logo!

We have 'finalized' our field plans and after many changes we have settled (no pun intended) on monitoring the following locations (click to bigify the map):

  1. Elbow Reef where we have observed and collected for the past 4(?) years and have detailed information on each colony's history and genotype.
  2. Sand Island where we have observed and collected for many many years. It has some colonies with known genotypes.
  3. We are also working with the SCUBAnauts who will be assisting us by monitoring both staghorn and elkhorn out at Molasses Reef. We have genotype identifications for most and the diversity is less but should the palmata spawn we hope to cross the gametes with those collected from sand Island. The staghorn that is there are restored colonies outplanted by Ken Nedimyer and we have no idea whether they are large enough or inclined to spawn but the SCUBAnauts (accompanied by our own Ben Mason) will be reporting back on any sightings.
  4. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary office will be sending a contingent out to try to collect some spawn from Horseshoe Reef that we are hoping to cross with our Elbow Collections if needed.
In sum we will have information on four sites that we will report here starting tonight!
Also, while sitting around on the boat I will be looking upward as it is that time of year for the Perseid Meteor Showers which can be quite a spectacular show! It will peak on August 12th but I hope to see some tonight too! FOr more info on them go here:

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