Several students wrote in to share their experiences working with the Hydrolab. We wrap things up today with Gayin Au.
Under the circumstances of an extremely frosty cold weather, our environmental classmates were still very eager to head out and experience the Hydrolab. As soon as we reached the river by our school, we saw a lot of trash in the river. The water looked very dense and had a very dark green color.
Two people were responsible for holding the Hydrolab since it was quite heavy. The others stood back to watch. I was surprised that we were able to get results really quick; at first I thought it would take a lot of time to process the information.
Goose poop, which is high in nitrate, dissolves and mixes into the water and plants use this nitrogen to keep them nice and fertilized. However, the river is also greatly harming the living things in it. The water lacked oxygen, meaning it will be more difficult for living things in there to survive. It also might mean there aren’t enough plants underwater to keep the normal level of oxygen up. It was greatly contaminated, and fish and other organisms will be affected, making them act unusually.
The lab was really quick and useful. It showed us the oxygen level, how much algae is in there, how polluted the river is in general, and more. The river goes by so many things that can affect it. Human trash, fertilizer, and goose poop (common near our school thanks to large fields of grass) all affect the quality of water.
A closer look at web tools and sites that boost research and empower Great Lakes communities to secure a healthy environment and economy.
For over two years, the Limno Loan program has been shaking up science class across the Great Lakes region. Coordinated by IISG and the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, the program gives students an opportunity to collect water quality data from local waterways with the same kind of monitoring sensors used by scientist aboard the R/V Lake Guardian.
And now, teachers can take their Hydrolab projects one step further with help from IISG’s new Limno Loan site. In addition to information about the equipment and the parameters it measures, the site provides lessons and activities to help teachers K-12 better integrate the Hydrolab into their aquatic science sections.
The activities, most of which were created by educators who used the equipment in their own classrooms, focus on demonstrating the connections between water quality, aquatic food webs, and human activities. Sample water quality data sheets are also available. The website also provides a unique opportunity for classes to share their data and compare it to information collected by fellow students across the region.
New activities will be added as they are developed, so be sure to check back later. You can also read more about how the Limno Loan program has helped improve student understanding of Great Lakes sciences in our Winter 2012 Helm.
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