Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Beginning of the Fellowship (June 13th - June 24th)

Hello, everyone. My name is Jake Levine, and I will be a senior this fall studying Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology at the University of New Hampshire. I am so thrilled to be a Brian Doyle Fellow with New Hampshire Sea Grant. I will be working on projects involved with Aquaculture and Fisheries with the guidance of Gabriela Bradt and Michael Chambers. During my first two weeks, I have already started to work on some projects involving seaweed, which happens to be what I'm very interested in!

Odiorne Point State Park, Rye NH. Photo courtesy of Jake Levine
One project that I am currently working on is an improved Edible Seaweed Identification booklet for those who are interested in adding the "vegetables of the sea" to their everyday meals. I have been traveling to different beaches and taking pictures of the seaweed species included in the booklet. My favorite spot to take pictures is at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, NH (Underwater pictures to come!!). I have found many of the species on my list, including Chondrus crispus, Ulva sp., Saccharina latissima, and many others. Once completed, this booklet will contain the basic information of up to 18 common edible seaweed species along the New Hampshire coastline. This will include a common name, a physical description, its location in the intertidal, its culinary use, and what months are best for its collection. Along with its general information, there will also be "Foraging Tips", which will include tips for safe and sustainable foraging.

The different physical appearance of Chondrus crispus. Photo courtesy of Jake Levine
Another project that I have been working on is the construction of a tumble culture tank for the growth of Gracilaria and Ulva. During my first week, I had collected some of each species and had them in a tank at the Jackson Estuarine Lab in Durham, NH near Adams Point. Unfortunately, most of the organisms did not survive the first attempt. Since then, I have been coming up with a better system that will allow the organisms to survive. Currently, I am in the process of gathering the materials for an aeration system and a filtration system to add to the tank, which will add air into the water and remove any sediments that might decrease the amount of light that enters the tank. 

Current setup of kelp incubation tank at the UNH Coastal Marine Lab. Photo courtesy of Jake Levine.
Along with the tank at the Jackson Estuarine Lab, I am also involved in the improvement of a kelp incubation tank at the Coastal Marine Lab in New Castle, NH. Currently, the tank is extremely bulky and has its electrical equipment close to dripping water. I have been working on different systems that will allow the the kelp to incubate in the most efficient way.  These plans include different shape tanks, different configurations of equipment, and different materials for the entire system.

Stay in tune for upcoming updates on these tanks and the Edible Seaweed booklet, and any other projects that come up!

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