Having the opportunity of being a participant in a research cruise for undergraduate students was an unique experience. Even though mother nature was not on our side this time and we could not achieve our goals, we were able to perform a few trawls and collect a few samples in Key West.
The first day was amazing, we could be at open waters and perform one trucker trawl and two plankton tows. The currents were very strong and as a consequence I got sea sick for like two hours. Due to the bad weather the captain made the decision of taking us back to Key West on our second day. The last two days we stayed in Key West and went to explore a little island where we were able to collect different species of invertebrates such as, worms, sea cucumbers, sea stars, and ctenophores. We also collected crustaceans like shrimps and different species of crabs.
Besides the field work experience. Something that marked this trip was being surrounded by smart girls. As an international student who comes from a country where getting a marine biology degree is not an option having the pleasure of meeting other girls who shared the same love I have for the ocean and science was amazing and gave me the strength I needed to keep fighting and do not give up on my dreams.
I am glad I was selected to be part of the group. This trip is something I will never forget!