After finishing up Glacial Geology and Climate Change in New Hampshire, we headed to Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine. Our first day in Popham was a beautiful 80 degree day with clear sunny skies! We headed to the beach front for fieldwork and some relaxation, and Dean Ireland joined us for the ESS experience.
Our fieldwork consisted of creating a beach cross-section profile. We measured the changing slope from the low tide line to the back dunes, and measured the grain size distribution of the sand. This information is essential in understanding the dynamics of this ecosystem, and will be used in part when understanding what organisms occur where.
After our fieldwork was complete, we were able to have some free time. In our free time many of us went swimming in the ocean and rode the huge waves. Some of us stayed in the water for over 40 minutes riding the waves or body surfing, while other got out to play some Frisbee on the beach. We also wandered over to Fox Island, which is only an island at high tide. We all climbed up on the rocks to get a 360-degree view of Popham Beach and to see a distant lighthouse. We quickly had to leave though, as the tide was coming in and the sand bar connecting to Fox island was quickly disappearing.
Later that evening, Dr. Erikson said his goodbyes for now as he goes back to campus to teach. In a few short weeks we will be reunited yet again, but for now we will be learning marine ecology with Dr. Teegarden. We look forward to having class on a beautiful beach with a great professor!
-Leia Berube ’18 and Jess Selva ’17