Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Marine Science Majors Conduct Field Research with Horseshoe Crab Census

22.05.2012
Wearing sneakers and rain boots, University of Delaware freshmen got their feet wet as marine biologists recently while counting horseshoe crabs along the Delaware Bay. The students participated in a monitoring effort to gain firsthand experience in field research with their fellow marine science majors.

“Where else can you go on a Saturday night to count horseshoe crabs?” freshman Will Goldman said.

After receiving training in April through the Delaware Bay Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey, two dozen students gathered in the evening at the St. Jones Reserve in Dover and dispersed to nearby beaches with an experienced volunteer leading each group.

Thousands of horseshoe crabs lined the shores at high tide, congregating into clumps and slowly creeping along the sand in search of mates. The females lay small, round green eggs in the sand as males attach themselves to their backs for fertilization.

The students took a one-meter square made of PVC pipe and laid it on the sand at the “crab line” where the animals gathered, counting how many horseshoe crabs of each gender were within the quadrat. They repeated the process every 20 meters until they covered 1,000 meters of shoreline.

The data collected will be combined with counts from other locations taken in May and June at night during new and full moons, when horseshoe crabs swim onto beaches to breed. The first census in Delaware Bay was organized by Delaware Sea Grant in 1990 and now includes multiple organizations. The populations are studied in connection with fishing, pharmaceutical applications and shorebirds that rely on horseshoe crabs eggs for food during migration.

By volunteering with the project, students gain valuable field experience. At this early stage of their college careers, many students are enthusiastic about studying the ocean and sea life, but are not sure specifically how they will use their degrees.

Joanna York, undergraduate program coordinator with the School of Marine Science and Policy, said there are many options. Students go on to work at consulting firms and government agencies, attend graduate school, teach secondary education or even enroll in medical school.

“Our goal is to have the degree very well supported by the basic sciences because marine science – including marine biology and oceanography – is very interdisciplinary and it’s really hard to do marine science if you haven’t had a broad science background,” York said.

The marine science major was formally approved in February 2011, making this year’s freshmen the inaugural group to start in their first years. York teaches several colloquia classes on marine science to complement students’ studies in biology, chemistry, math and other requirements.

“My goal is to immediately get students involved in doing things not just in the classroom, not just reading books and sitting in classes, but immediately doing and seeing and experiencing it because that’s what marine science is,” York said. “That’s why most of these students want to be in this major is because they’re excited about those kinds of opportunities.”

For many of the students walking Delaware’s shores for the survey, counting the spawning horseshoe crab population was a first exposure to data collection in the field.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” student Kayla Krenitsky said. “It’s pretty cool.”

To learn more about undergraduate offerings in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, visit this website.

To view the video with the story, visit http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2012/may/horseshoe-crab-count-051512.html

Andrea Boyle Tippett | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.udel.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

nachricht 100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?
15.06.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>