Another fieldtrip which I think is worth documenting it here.
This semester, one subject that is not from the module I'm taking right now (Conservation Module) is Coral Reefs Ecology. I was so glad to finally learn about the reefs since I was not fated to get a degree in Marine Biology, this is like the gist of it la. Its fun learning about the diversity, physiology and ecology of the coral reefs. Its even more fun when your lecturer is just passionate in delivering the knowledge and very helpful in guiding us. Hes probably one of Malaysia's best coral reef ecologist. Thanks Sir Affendi!
So a little background about this field trip. Basically we want to know the diversity of corals or percentage of corals cover according to the zones (reef flat and reef slope) and make comparison to a study conducted in 1970's by our other lecturer Dr Sasekumar. Imagine how much would have changed within these years. The coral's cover is of course no doubt lessened, more to dead and damaged actually. Due to developments within the coastal area and high sedimentation rate. The sediments accumulating too much on the corals is not good as it paralyzes the coral's life processes (photosynthesis and respiration). So yeah the corals will become unhealthy which leads them to die.
Hope this diagram helps. Tanjung Tuan isnt like this though.
I think I should stop with the geek talk now haha.
We used the LIT method, which is the Line intercept transect. Over a 100 meters from the reef flat. In other words its a 100m stretch of tape from the reef flat until to one of the deepest part of the reef zones, which is the reef slope. Along the tape we have to measure the length of the corals, identify its growth forms and genus, with the coral finder (manual) which Sir Affendi had laminated and photocopied for each groups. So it makes our job easier in the identification process. So we made sure that we did it during low tides, approximately around noon is the best time, because during our sampling it was only 0.3 meters. This was of course according to the tide level table provided by Jabatan Kaji Cuaca. Easy to estimate our working duration. Alhamdulillah within an hour, we managed to get all the physical parameters (pH, salinity, temperature, GPS position etc) and identification process done. It was blazing hot under the sun, but windy at the same time. There were no strong wave currents, so everything was done in accordance to time and plan. I was tasked to pull the transect tape (30m and 50m), so I wasn't that wet compared to my other groupmates hehe. They had to dive under to identify the corals and take pictures too.
By 3 o'clock, we went back to Center of Marine Science, UPM (COMAS) in Teluk Kemang. Btw our accomodation was a big bungalow that fit most of the girls. The boys stayed in tents outside. Our rooms had aircond too. After an exhausting day at the reef zones, it was nice getting back to a comfortable, air conditioned room to sleep haha. The day before our task, on Friday we performed mock for LIT at the exact site. And in the evening, opposite to the COMAS is the Teluk Kemang beach, a bit farther from the public. Sir taught us how to swim and dive. From the basic steps for some of the beginners. I was glad that I had experience in swimming when I was younger. He corrected some of my swimming skills too haha. (CAKAP MACAM HEBAT JE PADAHAL TAK PUN).
Friday. 17th April 2015.
View from COMAS.
See that tip there? The other side is where our survey was done. The pic was taken after LIT and the tide was already rising. Before that, it was really low so we walked all the way.
Briefing before swimming/diving. Sir Affendi is the one holding the snorkeling gear.
Lemahnya tengok sunset. In deep love.
This was after Sir had taught the swimming/diving.
I was enjoying the moment, so much. By the sunset and I thought, it felt perfect.
(all girls only in this pic)
Night time (Friday) is discussing among group mates the datasheet and procedures for the next day.
(Tapi tv bukak haha)
Saturday. 18th April 2015.
All 26 of us here. Its great that we've been together since 2012 =)
(you can't find me)
*Hat and sunblock was really important. But I was and still is tanned like mad, as if I didnt have any protection under the sun. My face looks like I've been stamped with some brown ink -_-
Both of the pictures were taken during the identification and this is what Yati, my group mate captured using Sir's camera.
Sea anomones! Captured by Affan from his camera.
Genus Porites. The most abundant one at reef slope. Again capture by Affan from his camera.
And....we're done! Alhamdulillah =)
In the evening after the surveying, it was our free time and we were allowed to spend some time at the beach. Banana boat, floating, swimming and such until the sun goes day. We enjoyed it so much!
Before banana boat. The boatman was calling to us. Tak menyabo -_-
The last sunset for our eyes to feast on. On Saturday.
On Sunday morning, we packed and cleaned the bungalow. by 1030, we departed back to UM. With second half of the semester waiting for us.
And....20% of this report for the continous assessment. Hua nangehhhh T__T
In conclusion, this is probably the most memorable fieldtrip yet. I've 4 more fieldtrips to go.....
"The more fieldtrips we go, the more reports we have to submit."
HYPOTHESIS ACCEPTED. Haha.
This is time Allah has allowed all of us to reflect that He is the Creator, the Architecture and Designer of this ecosystem. How vast the marine ecosystem is, not just with corals shows how great and powerful Allah is :)
Good night =)
Forgot to update on the good news I received yesterday.
Alhamdulillah, I will be having my internship MNS Nature Education Center, FRIM. Dekat dengan rumah hehe