Our July-August 2015 Trip is exploring multiple aspects of Aitutaki. While several of us have been visiting the Cook Islands for the last few years, this 2015 trip is our first formal university-sponsored exploration of the Cooks. As such, most of our 2015 work is focused on collecting baseline information to lay the groundwork for what we hope will be a long-term collaboration across the Cooks.
While in Aitutaki, our class will divide into smaller field crews, each of which will focus on documenting a different aspect of the island’s ecosystem and management.
Our field teams include:
- Mapping: seeking to create up to date, high resolution maps of both terrestrial vegetation on the main island and the coral patch reefs across the lagoon
- Patch Reef Teams: Coral Cover, Invertebrates, Fish & Reef Topography
- Lagoon Reef Teams: Coral Cover & Invertebrates
- Sandy Beach Condition
- Terrestrial Vegetation
- Fishing and Fish Tissue Collection