On September 28th, Fort Johnson had another successful beach sweep thanks to George Reikerk, the Beach Sweep Coordinator. Participants included Grice graduate students, students from James Island Charter and Porter-Gaud high schools, as well as DNR and MUSC staff. The area covered included Fort Johnson, Grice Beach, and the south end of Morris Island. All total of 2.3 miles of coastline and 3 boat loads of trash were collected. The trash included 34 bags of trash and usual collection of floats, lumber, boat parts and rope. the This year, Hope Wertz, a Marine Biology graduate student, will be comparing the plastic materials collected with microplastic particles that can be found in our estuarine waters and sediments. You can review a list of what was found: Beach Sweep 2013 summary
Graduate students enrolled in Marine Invertebrate Zoology generated two on-line resources targeted to scientists and the general public interested in marine biodiversity of coastal South Carolina. First, students in 2011 generated an online guide to invertebrates found in Charleston Harbor. Each invertebrate includes a picture, a brief description on the animal’s morphology, distribution, habitat, and life history, and links to a variety of online resources for that species. Second, students in 2012 documented marine invertebrates at three local sites: the Folly Beach groin, Fort Johnson, and Murrells Inlet. All three of these sites have been surveyed in the past (between 30 and 60 years ago), and the students uncovered changes in the species composition at each location. This “historical ecology” project focused on the effects that climate change and introduced species may play in coastal South Carolina ecosystems.
M/SGT Clifford Ridgeway Davis, USAF (RET) passed away on December 11th, 2009 from pancreatic cancer. He donated his shell collection to the Grice Marine Laboratory in 2000 for display, enjoyment and study.
During his outstanding military career, he served throughout the world, including Okinawa, Vietnam, Japan, Guam, Hawaii, Turkey and several other locations in the Mediterranean. A decorated combat veteran, his assignments included being a combat medic and a member of the U.S. Air Force Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team during the Vietnam War as well as serving in the Special Operations/Delta Force. He collected all of the shells while enjoying one of his many professional responsibilities, Dive Master and underwater photographer for the USAF from 1966 to 1977. Most of the shells in his collection are from the western Pacific, especially Okinawa.
Mr. Davis also served as the Manager of the College of Charleston Motor Pool from 1992 to 1996. After his retirement, he was an active volunteer in the Charleston community and Veterans Affairs. Grice Marine Laboratory has lost a dear friend and he will be deeply missed.
Post & Courier Obituary
If you happened to be on Folly Beach on December 13th, you may have seen a giant blue octopus wearing a red Santa hat and riding on top of a boat. New species? Mutant genes you ask? Turns out it was part of a float entered by GML in the Folly Beach Christmas Parade. Graduate students dressed as sea critters danced around the boat as it was pulled along the parade route and threw candy canes to the delight of the many children. OCTOCLAUS was a huge success, finishing in 2nd place and winning a prestigious trophy and $200 for the Marine Biology GSA. Click here for more photos and video clips.