“Today we spent all day on land learning about the ocean.”
After our eventful evening, we had a relaxing morning and met Kristen at the lab (which we were now very familiar with) at 10:30am. After showing us her office and lab space, we joined up with a group of UC Davis Marine Science students who were also at the lab for the day. We spent a bit of the morning walking around tide pools, learning about the different plants and animals that live there, and observing the ways that the waves interact with the rock. We then moved to the cliffs and learned about the system that pumps sea water in and out of the laboratory. We also discussed various uses for the facility and how students could get involved. It was really great to see younger students, even from a different school, interested in marine science and excited to learn more. We then met up with one of the grad students, Connor, who showed us a variety of different marine science instruments and explained how they are used. We saw equipment worth thousands of dollars right beside equipment that could be purchased at a grocery store.
Up next, a lunch break! We headed into town with Kristen to try the new and exciting cuisine of Bodega Bay- this turned into us all grabbing sandwiches at a deli. When we returned to the lab, we continued on the tour, getting introduced to the various grad students working at the lab and their projects. We saw tanks of various marine creatures- urchins, algae, seagrass, mussels, and more. After the tour, we separated from the group and went with Kristen to work in the lab and run some water samples. The four of us worked together and switched off tasks so we could all get experience doing different things. Finally, when all the work was complete, we headed back to the dorms, tired and ready for dinner.
The next morning we packed up the car and headed out of Bodega. As soon as we got on the road, it started raining heavily. All we could think about was how Kristen had shared stories of not being able to leave town due to flooding of all the roads. Eventually, we made it out and started our journey back to LA. The whole trip was a great adventure- We got to spend a lot of quality time together as a group and also got to know Kristen better. We also strengthened our knowledge of our project and the lab work that goes into running our samples. It was so interesting to see the passion of all the people working at this lab and to learn about the various projects that are being conducted.