by Dianna Belman
I really enjoyed taking EVPP 581 and 582. I have never studied coastal systems before. Therefore, the vast majority of the material was new to me. What I enjoyed most (and also found surprising) about the class was the insight I gained into phenomena I have only heard about or observed but never understood. Some of these ideas include understanding how waves affect the shoreline, what drives tides, and how anaerobic sediments form.
I was surprised by how interdisciplinary coastal and estuarine ecology is. I am walking away from this course with a great respect and appreciation for coastal systems and what knowledge it takes to understand their functions.
I highly recommend taking the lab and lecture together. They inform each other and facilitate learning the material. In the lab, I learned how to run tests on nutrient samples and look at benthic invertebrates for species identification, neither of which I had done before.
This summer, I learned how to use some of the field equipment and techniques involved in coastal and estuarine research.