July 17, 2006
I met Guy DiDonato and the other research team members at the Hollings Marine Laboratory loading dock. Everyone was packed for a three-day sampling trip to Brunswick, Georgia. Brunswick is a historical town designed during the American Revolution. Brunswick's streets and squares were laid out in a grid in 1771. Brunswick still retains the original grid, as well as many historical buildings that have been standing since 1819.
Travis Washburn had loaded much of the sampling equipment we would need onto a U-Haul trailer the day before. Guy had arranged the different teams we would need to monitor the creeks in Brunswick. The creeks we sampled on this trip were very different than the sampling I had experienced at Village Creek. We would be sampling Postell Creek, a suburban creek, located in Saint Simon near Brunswick. I worked with Lisa Hayes a research assistant for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (http://www.noaa.gov) and a doctorate student at University of South Carolina (USC). Mark Tibbett was another member of our team. Guy, Travis, and Sara Jones, another graduate student from the College of Charleston would sample the upper order of Burnett Creek, an urban/industrial creek. Cynthia Cooksey (Cyndy) who worked for NOAA headed up the third team that would take a boat out to the lower order of Burnett Creek. Angela Salisbury and Patrick Biondo were the research members of her team. Kolo Rathburn was a student of College of Charleston and an assistant researcher for an oyster microarray project at HML. He was along to collect oysters at each creek we sampled in Brunswick. I was very interested to hear about his microarray oyster project and his home in Hawaii.
Patrick, Lisa, and I rode with Guy in the HML truck pulling the U-Haul. Everyone else followed behind in the Van claiming a more comfortable ride. It took us about three hours to reach the Marine Extension Service laboratory and boat landing where we secured the sampling equipment for the next day and dropped off the U-Haul. Cindy met Paul, the captain of the research boat her team used to sample the mouth of Burnett Creek. We headed to Brunswick and checked into the Best Western where we would stay during the trip. I tried fried soft shelled crabs at dinner that night for the first time. They were very delicious! Guy went over the final details of the next day's mission back at the hotel pool where we relaxed after dinner. I brought out the delicious cheese cake my husband had baked for us. I went to bed early because we would be up early to head back to the Marine Extension Service Lab.