By Land and By Sea: Setting Into Life In Mystic

Sabino, post down-river cruise

Hello again!

When last we met, the Williams-Mystic gang was still settling into the routine of maritime studies.  In the past week, things have picked up quite a bit: we’ve had a literature paper due, as well as final project proposals for Marine Ecology, Oceanography, and Marine Policy.  With daily readings thrown into the mix, it’s been a somewhat stressful week at times; fortunately, there’s usually something to pick up your spirits if you’ve been spending too much time at a computer.  So far, that autumn weather has brought all its beauty without much of the chill, which has made for some lovely outings in the area.

Last Thursday evening, we all went aboard the steamboat Sabino, which took us on a tour of the Mystic River out toward Long Island Sound, returning just after sunset.  Over the weekend, several students took a break from reading about Hawaiʻi to go apple picking at a nearby orchard.

Trekking into Barn Island Marsh

A highlight of the week for this blogger was Tuesday’s lab, which included the Marine Ecology and Oceanography students.  We drove over to Barn Island Marsh, around fifteen minutes away, and the weather was perfect.  We put our knee-high boots to good use walking out to the very edge of the marsh where it meets the water.  Professor Jim Carlton introduced us to some of the life there, such as Saltmarsh Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and the marsh mussel (schadium).  We could also hear the crickets, though we didn’t see them.  At the water’s edge, Professor Lisa Gilbert had us extract (with some difficulty) samples of the soil to examine deposits over many decades, looking for evidence of past hurricanes.

Gabi and Neeko extract a soil sample at the marsh

On Thursday afternoon, we all met to go over the itinerary for Hawaiʻi and talk about things to keep in mind while we’re there.  We’re a little nervous at the moment, as the plan has been to tour—and stay at—Volcanoes National Park, which may prove impossible if our government continues this shutdown business.  But we’re not due there for a week or so, so we remain hopeful.

The next time you hear from me, my cohorts and I will be about halfway through our Hawaiian adventure.  We are all, to say the least, pretty excited to get going on that.


Fair Winds,

Bennett W.

F’13 Student Blogger

Author: williamsmystic

A one semester interdisciplinary ocean and coastal studies program integrating marine science, maritime history, environmental policy, and literature of the sea.

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