Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
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Day 6, Saturday: June 18, 2016

Amber Hoke; Chattahoochee Elementary School, Cumming, GA
Stephanie Rogman, Northview High School, Johns Creek, GA

Amber Hoke

Waking up on the R/V Savannah this morning was bittersweet. This is the final day of our amazing adventure of a lifetime learning experience.

Learning marine species after trawling Wilmington River in Savannah

Learning marine species after trawling Wilmington River in Savannah.
(Photo: Michelle Riley, GRNMS)

We disembarked the Savannah and walked one dock over to the R/V Sea Dawg, a smaller vessel used by the University of Georgia Marine Education Center & Aquarium for education and research. Our Captain, John "Crawfish" Crawford, and Anne Lindsay made the most of the 2-hour voyage out to the Wilmington River. We again trawled and recorded our catch for research purposes.

Upon our return, we gathered to wrap up with our incredible leaders. My mind is swirling with ideas of how best to take all I have learned back to Forsyth County and share with our school and other educators in our district.

My greatest take-away from this experience are: teaching science by immersion, hands-on experiences are most meaningful; when teaching life and environmental science the history is as important as the science and needs to be taught in conjunction; we are all connected, and nothing demonstrates this as effectively as a study of our water.

Stephanie Rogman

Today was our last and unfortunately final day of the trip. After a great night of sleep on the RV Savannah, we unloaded our bags and headed to our next excursion.

We were now on the campus of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and loaded onto the R/V Sea Dawg. We traveled down the Willmington River to collect one last trawl sample. From our limited time frame, we were able to collect a diversity of marine life. These included many species of fish, but similar types of sharks, squid, and shrimp that we had collected (and some we released) off of the RV Savannah. We were able to wrap up our our day by comparing our water quality samples data from all eight chosen locations and the specific flora or fauna found there.

Rivers to Reefs - Class of 2016.

Rivers to Reefs - Class of 2016.
(Photo: Michelle Riley, GRNMS)

Seeing these results, as well as our discussion, shows how interconnected our ecosystem is. Overall, this week has been an incredible experience that I will treasure for a long time. This trip gave me a first hand experience of marine research, conservation, and the the understanding of all the different waterways of Georgia which I knew very little about.

Finally, I am also incredibly thankful for the lifelong connections I have made on this trip and hope to stay in touch.


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