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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Just 100 miles off the Gulf of Mexico, is home to the Flower Garden Banks, which is full of diverse marine species.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s marine biology department students had the chance for an in-depth and hands on learning experience about coral reefs located there.
The impacts of these coral reefs affect our everyday lives more than we may know, such as providing coastal protection during storms.
“Lets put you in the water and really train you on what its like to be a marine biologist,” said TAMU-CC assistant professor of marine biology Keisha Bahr. “How do you take these measurements? How do you tell if a coral is healthy or not? or how do you even identify a coral? Right, we can do that in a classroom, but the best way to do it is actually have professionals do it. Or how I do it when I do my research. So what we are doing here today is we are actually giving that immersive, that literal hands on underwater experience on what its like to be a marine biologist.”
TAMU-CC graduate student Casey Gallagher said the experience offers endless opportunities to learn and grow in her field.
“This experience will surely prepare me for any future coral sampling in the field,” she said. “I think it will also give me some networking opportunities and some self-confidence as well in my skills as a diver and a marine biologist.”
Six months of preparation were put into the project so that students could maximize this hands-on experience for their future endeavors.
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