We are a group of biology undergraduates from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. We came to HIMB to study Coral Reef Ecology for the week and have had a great time! We started our week with a tour of Coconut Island followed by a night plankton sampling program. The next morning we collected Gorilla ogo algae (Gracilaria salicornia) for our snapping shrimp bioacoustics lab, which was fascinating. Then we split up into groups to work on small research projects around the island including: population density of parrotfish between corals and mangroves, population density of species on patch corals at high and low tides, the correlation between burrow entrance size and the number of Hawaiian shrimp gobies and their symbiotic shrimp, and finally testing different light sources for collecting plankton at night.
We never thought we would be able to learn so much about coral reefs in one week, but our week here at HIMB has been an amazing educational experience. Below are some photos of a few of our activities during the week. Everyone on Coconut Island has been very gracious and helpful!