Headline for Featured Item #1 University Researchers Host International Guests to Study Coastal Bend Waters - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi - Discover Your Island

University Researchers Host International Guests to Study Coastal Bend Waters

June 28, 2013

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Lee Smee Field Work-350x225.jpg

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi professors, students, and international guests participated in a field work excursion, to study black mangrove habitats, in Red Fish Bay, on Tuesday, June 25.

Dr. Deborah Overath and Dr. Lee Smee, Associate Professors of the Department of Science of Engineering, received a grant in 2012, from the Southern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), to study black mangrove habitats in Texas. Dr. Overath and Dr. Smee are collaborating with Dr. Carl Trettin from the USFS on these projects. Dr. Trettin specializes in studying carbon utilization and storage in different mangrove habitats. He primarily works in Africa, but also has collaborations with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and with universities in Puerto Rico.

Black mangroves are increasing in abundance and displacing native salt marsh habitat in Texas. The purpose of the grant is to determine what effects this change may have on marine fauna. The group operated a suction sampler called “Nessie” to collect specimens.

The sampler works like a vacuum. The blue, bottom-less barrel traps fish, crabs, and shrimps and then ‘Nessie’ sucks all the water and critters out of the barrel and into a net. The animals are placed in preservative to, later, be measured and identified. When complete, the survey of these animals will allow researchers to determine how animals utilize marsh and mangrove habitats.

Two researchers, three graduate students, and two undergraduate students, from Puerto Rico, were also part of the excursion.  The purpose of the meeting was to foster collaborations and to plan on submitting future grants.  It also gives the University the opportunity to recruit international into our marine doctoral programs.

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