Coral Restoration: making a plan for the plan of the plan

I am in the midst of planning my second graduate research project as a first-year graduate student at the University of North Carolina. I wanted to take you on the journey of this experiment, which is to be a year-long coral restoration project in the Florida Keys. I have never done an experiment like this before, and I am nervous but ready to share all the lessons learned and challenges faced during this time.

Before we dive into where I am currently, I wanted to bring you up to speed on how I got to the experimental planning phase…

Over the last 6-8 months, I was busy throwing ideas at my advisor, trying to plan an experiment on corals I’ve never worked on in a place I had never SCUBA dove before, and with instruments that I can barely pronounce. So I was obviously thrilled about the endless possibilities! I finally landed on three project ideas and divided them across 10 grants I was writing. I would fill you in on the grant writing process, but I am only now regrowing the hair I had ripped out after all the grammatical errors and re-reading sentences, again and again, finally ending in an all-encompassing sigh of relief as I sent “SEND” on the last grant application.

The winner winner chicken dinner?!?

Coral Fitness and Genomic Analyses of Nursery-grown Orbicella annularis Transplanted in the Florida Reef Tract

So… what does that mean exactly?

Find out next time when we delve into the HISTORY of coral RESTORATION!!!!