Wednesday our aquatic ecology class went on a boat to the deepest part of the lake to (open water area) to do sampling of the water. The boat was crowded, we had 5 instructors or assistants to the professor and 30 people, plus the two boat captains on there. The professor broke the boat into four stations for; turbidity, light reading, water sampling (pH, Cond., Oxygen, temp.) and lake bottom scraping/plankton catching.
First I went to where we were doing the light reading. I didn’t do any of the work since there were four of us only one was need. We used this instrument that looked like an anchor with a lightbulb attached. It’s connected to a string that is marked at ever 0.5 meter. You lower it at every increment and obtain the irradiation.
Next was water sampling with pH, temperature, conductance and dissolved oxygen. It was pretty self-explanatory, you use a Van Dorn sampler to collect water. It’s connected at a string that’s marked every 1m. You lower it at the desired meter and yank on the string. This will capture the water from that section of the water. From there we used tiny machines that tell us the measurements of pH, temperature, etc,.
It was so nice outside and just perfect weather. The two boat captains obviously have been around each other for too long because they kept bickering. Like one girl needed help putting the Van Dorn together and a boat captain was helping. The other boat captain kept yelling, let the professor handle it. The other boat captain was say, hold on I’m trying to help! lol The dynamics between them were hilarious.
While we were still in the open water part of the lake, other groups used the Secchi disk. It’s a round disk with black and white sections. You lower it into the water until you can no longer tell the difference between the black and white sections. This measures turbidity, which is simply water clarity. Also another section measured light attenuation by dropping some candy into the water. You drop different colors into the water and record the time until you can no longer see the color. Also the other group did used some instrument that you drop it to the bottom of the lake, set off the trigger and it grabs a ground sample of the lake. We were all invited to put our hands in the muck. It was black and of grainy texture but smaller grains than sand.
Next we packed everything up, sat down and we were taken to the littoral zone. This is the zone of a lake that is shallower and has a lot of plant life. So this means were in the area where there’s a lot algae, plankton, other seaweeds. We didn’t stay long at this site. I did get to use the plankton net though. You throw it into the water, let it sit for a while, bring it back up and put the water in a pan. Since we were in the littoral zone with more vegetation, we were able to catch a lot of plankton, daphnia and even worms. After that we packed up the stuff and headed back to school. And that is the end of that wooooonderful story of my trip on the lake.
Well, it’s Friday, which means no work. I need to do something enjoyable. I mean, being on a boat for lab was fun, but the consequences of that (besides hands-on experience which is good) is the fact that I know have to plot data on a graph which means I had to wrestle with Open Office just to get the graph the right way. Then I have to answer the questions in my lab book. But I mean something enjoyable that is just an utter complete waste of time and possibly a little geeky and childish of me.
I love, the time trial free downloadable games, though, if you’re smart enough and search certain corners of the web, you can either get the full game for free or do something with the program to make it free and I’m not talking about Torrents either but…you didn’t read this from me though, nu-uh, I don’t do stuff like that. So, a few days a new Diner Dash game came out so I’ll play that. This morning I found out there’s a another chapter of the Women’s Murder Club game, the first one was a hit. Then I’ll try to play this Escape to Paradise game.
I was going to type that I would try that new Google Monopoly game, I tried it in between writing this post and it was boring. I also have to watch the two episodes of Big Brother 11 that I missed because I was too busy. Next I’ll look to see what the job market is looking like for a poor biology student like me. I actually enjoy doing this, it kills time and productive all at once. I figured, I most likely won’t be able to get a job in a lab before I graduate (I imagine competition is great and there’s not enough jobs), so I need to brainstorm ideas to enter into the workforce. I can’t think of anything else fun to do. Whatever it entails, it should entail me not having to waste calories physically talking, so I’ll be online a lot, at least for today. So, you might see me on twitter, FB, random places, or …I might see you and you don’t know it’s me …. or I might just see you in your nightmares. Bye