Friday, November 22, 2013

SoundWaters

The girls recently completed their fall science course, a 17 hour marine science program offered by SoundWaters of Stamford, whose mission is to protect Long Island Sound through education.  




I am glad that the girls loved this class so much.  Commuting 30 miles south on I95 in what is still technically rush hour is something we certainly are not used to.  What normally would take thirty minutes took an hour and since Metro North Railroad experienced a major transformer outage, shutting down trains and impacting rail travel for two weeks, this commute suddenly became 1.5 hours.   Yet, it was something the girls never grumbled about getting up early for and we took advantage of our car time to listen to audiobooks. 



The girls could not have been blessed with better weather for this class.  Every Monday (with the exception of one) was picture perfect.  While the girls were in class my friend and I would hit up Starbucks for a latte and stroll the grounds of this stunningly beautiful park.  



This year, for the first time, I have begun to ask outside classes and teachers for progress reports and class outlines.  Since they do not receive “grades” for their work, I want to be able to show the content of the class and their participation in it from a third party’s perspective.  

The topics covered in this class were:

Long Island Sound Watershed
  • Runoff
  • Point source/ non-point source pollution
  • Rivers, streams, tributaries, agricultural areas, urban areas
  • Brackish water, salt water, fresh water
  • Surface water/ ground water
  • Estuary


Water quality
  • Salinity
  • pH
  • turbidity
  • temperature
  • nitrates – different sources


Sampling equipment 
  • Population survey
  • Random sampling/ quadrats
  • Transects
  • Water quality
  • VanDorn/ LaMotte Bottle
  • Turbidity tube/ Secchi disk
  • Hydrometer
  • Thermometer
  • pH colorimeter
  • pH/ nitrate strips


nets
  • dip net
  • seine net
  • plankton net


microscopes 
  • compound and dissecting


Long Island Sound Watershed
  • Runoff
  • Point source/ non-point source pollution
  • Rivers, streams, tributaries, agricultural areas, urban areas
  • Brackish water, salt water, fresh water
  • Surface water/ ground water
  • Estuary


Water quality
  • Salinity
  • pH
  • turbidity
  • temperature
  • nitrates – different sources


Animal adaptations
  • Diamondback terrapin
  • Horseshoe crab
  • Spider crab
  • Hermit Crab
  • Seastar
  • Flounder
  • Oyster toadfish
  • Bivalves: Clam, oyster, mussel
  • Chocolate fingered mud crab, green crab
  • Lobster
  • Asian shore crab (invasive species)


Habitats
  • Salt marsh (Spartina grass)
  • Peat
  • Ribbed mussel
  • Buffer/sponge for coastline
  • Rocky intertidal zone
  • Sandy beach


Food web/Food chain
  • Plankton
  • Phytoplankton – oxygen production – primary producer
  • Zooplanktonmero/holoplankton – primary consumer
  • Scavenger, predator, consumer, decomposer


Sampling equipment


Beginning next week, we will follow up this experience with a study of Oceanography, including projects, labs and lab reports using: Silver Burdett Ginn Science Discovery Works, 1996 (pre acquisition by Houghton Mifflin).






4 comments:

  1. This is wonderful. I can not believe how much they covered in 17 hours. WOW!!! I know they loved it. Hope the Oceanography study goes great too!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for thinking of us and sending us your oceans information. I was not home yesterday to look at it, but I will today! I am excited to collect water samples from our beach and run some tests. I know I am crazy for starting this in November and may regret it mid-December, but we'll see how it goes........

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  2. I love the interdisciplinary nature of this course. The location looks beautiful too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The location was stunning. One of the most picturesque parks I have been to in Connecticut. I miss my Monday coffee time with my friend sitting on a bench or rocker looking out into the sound. It was a win-win -- the girls learned and I had some valuable time to myself. There is a possibility there will be a second session of this class focused on research so I may get the opportunity to visit this park soon.

      Delete

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