Saturday, April 12, 2008

Week 3: Marine Naturalist Training

Greg Hertel shows us examples of local geology

The third Marine Naturalist Training today was a field to Lime Kiln Park and then to Cattle Point. Greg Hertel pointed out local geology and explained the difference between subduction zone volcanoes, the kind we have here that are full of churned debris, gas and are highly explosive and hot spot volcanoes like they have in Hawaii that calmly spew out liquid lava. The Northwest's Mt St Helen’s and Italy's Mt Vesuvius (that caught the people of Pompeii by surprise) are subduction zone volcanoes.

Subduction Zone Volcano ~ Hot Spot Volcano

Our nearest subduction zone volcano, Mt Baker, was especially resplendent today flanked with plenty of gleaming snow. Luckily for us Mt Baker remains calm..... for now.

Taking notes above South Beach

At Cattle Point Pema Kitaeff gave us a short introduction to what we may find in the intertidal zone. She explained that when it comes to “starfish” scientists prefer the name “sea star” because starfish are not really fish. Scientists are so literal! And, I was not the only one to be surprised to learn that octopus are mollusks and barnacles like crabs, are arthropods.



  1. Hertel was my science teacher in high school; he was also my chemistry teacher however I didn't fare so well in that class. Sounds like a fun program you've enrolled in; thanks for the report and photos.

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  2. Nice to hear from a former student of Greg's. The Marine Naturalist Training is put together by the Whale Museum and takes advantage of the wealth of local expertise we have on this Island.