An Ode to My Undergrad Research

An ode to my Undergrad Research

Hey Undergrad why so sad?
Is it cause your schedule is hilariously bad?

Classes research and a life too,
Really dude, what are you gonna do?

So you gotta passion for ecology
Interested in research, zoology or botany?

Maybe it depends on the day
But whatever it is you’re gonna pay

Now I’m not saying to not spend the time
I’m just saying its led me to rhyme

My interests led me beneath the waves
I have to say it was the best way to spend my days

I spent the summer in field work heaven
But now school is back and I work six to eleven

But I’ll tell you my marine research tale
Gonna break it right now-there is no whale

Seagrass is a marine plant that is so grand
Millions of years ago it said, peace out land!

It moved into the ocean and grew into meadows
Full of fish, invertebrates, and other fine fellows

Now seagrass is not just a pretty face
Through CO2 sequestration, it cleans the atmospheric space

By offering shelter for all the creatures
It provides us with some very fine features

Like nurseries for fish we like eat
And water filtration that keeps our coast neat

Seagrass can be found near all our shores
From tropical seas to artic Fjords

But seagrass is facing a period of strife
Its being heavily influenced by human life

Orth et al. would define
Its disappearance as a global decline

One of the main issue seagrass faces
Is algae growing all over its places

Smithora all over the eelgrass's places

Smithora all over the seagrass’s places

Nutrient enrichment stimulates algal blooms
That steal all the light and leave seagrass in gloom

Some meadows are heartier than others
And not all algae species are like their brothers

So its important to understand what controls the algae we see
So we can save seagrass systems for future you and me

I work with seagrass algal epiphytes:
Algae that grows in seagrass at certain sites

Specifically a red one named Smithora
It really is a beautiful type of flora

Smithora grows in seagrass in certain places but only some
And I began to wonder if it matters where the seagrass is from

A cleaner eelgrass patch

A cleaner seagrass patch

I switched seagrass between places with smithora in full swing
To places where there was no algae-not a single algal thing

What I found was quite interesting
It sent my scientific senses a whirring

Smithora that has started to sprout
Won’t leave when you move it about

But a blade that was normally completely green
When placed near smithora becomes no longer clean

Clearly something is amiss
How could smithora do this?

Well that is the question I would like to address
But unfortunately school has me under considerable stress

So while I’m learning about evolution and stats
I’ll keep thinking about those seagrass quadrats

Yearning for the day when research isn’t on the side
And I can fully enjoy those late night low tides

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0042.

Research fun in the sun!

To learn more about seagrass research happening on the central coast check out this link! : http://www.hakai.org/research

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