Savannah, Ga. – Researchers at the University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography will conduct an intensive regimen of around-the-clock sampling and testing into salt marsh biological and chemical activity on July 16-17. Dubbed “26 Hours on the Marsh,” the program is part of a joint research effort between UGA Skidaway Institute and researchers from the University of Tennessee to study how salt marshes function and interact with their surrounding environment.
The team will set up a sampling station and an outdoor laboratory on a bluff overlooking the Groves Creek salt marsh on the UGA Skidaway Institute campus. The scientists will collect and process water samples from the salt marsh every two hours, beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 16, and running through 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 17. By conducting the tests for a continuous 26 hours, the team will be able to compare the samples collected during the day with those collected at night, as well as through two full tidal cycles. They will run more than 30 different tests on each sample.
The sampling program will provide data to several ongoing research projects. One key objective is to examine the way salt marshes process carbon and the roles bacteria and phytoplankton (single-cell marine plants) play in the process.