We had three terrific classes with Jen Rubbo from the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Elizabeth Ruiz, the post-baccalaureate intern for the Casparkill, from Vassar College.
We started with a pre-trip visit. Elizabeth explained her job and what a watershed is. Jen used an activity to explain dissolved oxygen and conductivity. Students wrote hypotheses about how leaf pack macroinvertebrates (macros) would differ between riffles and pools.
The second day we were off in the field. We collected physical data like dissolved oxygen content, conductivity and temperature. We also looked a living factors by using nets to collect macros. There was time to explore and we were lucky to be able to use high waders to go deep.
Third day was in the lab. The leaf packs were opened. We had data to compare from last year– fewer caddisflies [:( ] than in previous years. On the upside, many, many planaria– that Emma is going to try to save for grade 6. And, one pack had the biggest leech ever brought in by middle school students at PDS.
There’s more to do with these data….