Friday, 7 September 2012

Azores Day 6

Our last full day on the island was mostly spent at the University of the Azores. There were two lab sessions and time to prepare a scientific paper on the restored forest survey we did earlier in the week.

One lab session looked at the bacterial plates from the water samples collected at the beginning of the week. Disconcertingly, there was obvious contamination with faecal bacteria of a pool we all swam in on Monday! We also extracted chlorophyll from the water samples as a way of quantifying the presence of Cyanobacteria.

Another lab session looked at stomatal density of a range of plant species from the impressions taken yesterday.

There were two assessments today, as well. The first was the "Ultimate Test" on everything we had done on the course. And by 10 pm, each of the ten groups was to hand in their scientific paper on the forest restoration work we did earlier this week. Some met this deadline calmly, with plenty of time to spare (in some cases more than eight hours), but a few groups left things a bit late. One group in particular was in real panic a minute before the deadline. You know who you are...

The "Ultimate Test"

 A few photos from outside the labs today:

Island Canary (endemic to Macronesia)

The view west along the south coast from Lagoa towards Ponta Delgada

Once the assessments were over, it was time to celebrate the end of the field course, and Jason's birthday. After a gentle start by the waterfront, the festivities moved on to a square where locals and tourists mingle at weekends, and sample the occasional caipirinha. As midnight struck, most of us were still there, and this blog entry runs seamlessly into the next...

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