Exploration of the Intertidal

The sun is going down for the third time since this intertidal internship has taken off and the four of us are sitting in a mix-shift circle talking about how much has happen in just two and a half days.


Flashback to Monday, getting on a small boat together awkwardly introducing ourselves and making small talk. After the boat ride we were quickly introduced to one of our Advisors Kathy with a bright smile and a large hug. That day we didn’t have much assigned for us to do other than explore the island, meet the other interns, eat dinner and meet for the first time at 5pm where we met our other advisor Chris. Not much science research happened the first day as we fell into island life once again. The first day flew by and before we knew it we were getting to bed for the early low tide.


The morning came fast and suddenly it was the 29th of July! My birthday! We met very early, knowing we were going to miss breakfast for our first trip to the intertidal. We spent about 3 hours exploring the intertidal and being introduced to mouthfuls of Latin names for algae and invertebrates as the waves crash up on the protected area of the island. After some rest and good food we were meeting together, but this time to observe and talk about the species that we would find while doing our collections in the upcoming days. We also spent a large amount of time studying the names and making group notecards. The day ended with a great dinner, hanging out with the other interns, and a surprise cake!


Wednesday morning was refreshing until the fog rolled in as we approached the exposed area of the island with larger wave action previously experienced. We climbed around carefully, trying not to slip on the cyanobacteria that populated most the rocks. Then we began exploring with our knowledge from the day before! It was interesting comparing the difference in population of species and noticing the large different in size. The exposed side was very interesting to climb upon and we all got pretty wet. Amanda got hit with the most water though! After some time we headed back to the lab and put on dry clothes. At the lab, we studied some more and worked on some projects. During this time Kathy nonchalantly say “oh, a lizard”. We turn to her and see a lizard crawl out of her sweatshirt and onto her arm! With surprise expressions we captured the lizard and started looking up what lizards inhabit the island and tried to identify it. The conclusion we came to is that this lizard sneakily came all the way from California (Kathy’s home) within her checked bag and has been in her sweatshirt for the past two days! We named him Enrico and built him a nice habitat until he makes the travel back to California in a few weeks. The rest of the day we just went over protocol for our first data collection and did some practice as the sunset over mainland.


It has only been two and a half days, but already we are working hard and I am excited to start collecting data tomorrow!