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Report #2 from Student Citizen Scientists

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Blog |

Wyatt H’s Report:   On Feb 18, 2014 my yellow science class went on a field trip to Hyla Woods, in Oregon. We departed early at 8:00 AM. When we got there we went to our site (the farthest upstream) and started our testing. We did many tests like Dissolved oxygen, which is the oxygen in the water, PH, which measures the acid levels in the stream, turbidity which is a measure of how clear or cloudy the water is, and last but most definitely not least, the aquatic invertebrate test, but you may wonder how we did it. Well… we made these organic leaf packs and put them in netting and placed them in the water. We left after doing all of our tests and came back a couple weeks later on Feb 27, 2014. Both times we went it was rainy and windy, with temperatures, as low as 16ºC. We retrieved the leaf packs and did all the tests again, and we examined the leaf packs the next week. We found some aquatic invertebrate, but not a lot. We had 1 mayfly, 2 stoneflies, 2 common netspinners, 3 craneflies, and 5 crayfish. You would think they are big, but Woah are they small. When we went to the woods, we had one essential question that we were trying to answer over the period of time, “How can we tell if an ecosystem healthy?” This is a super important question because if an ecosystem isn’t healthy, many things can die, like wildlife, bacteria, and algae. Who wants to have an ecosystem with zero animals, zero plant life, and zero living organisms but trees? I know I wouldn’t, so we are trying to find out is Hyla Woods is healthy, which leads into the next section. In Hyla Woods, we examined the Lousignout Creek, and here is some of the data that our class collected: The first time we went: Air Temp: N/A Water Temp: N/A PH: 6 DO: 8.75 Turbidity: 18   The last time we went: Air Temp:16ºC Water Temp:9ºC PH: 6.5 DO: 6 Turbidity: 20 And here is the aquatic Vertebrate data we collected: What we...

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Student Citizen Scientists Share Their Findings

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Blog |

We’ve been pleased to have several groups of students – ranging from 2nd graders to university students – doing serious investigations in the forests this year.   Below is the first of two reports presented by the 7th grade scientists from Catlin Gabel School.  We thank them for their good work and encourage you to learn from their findings.  If that is not commitment to scientific inquiry, I don’t know what is! ——————————————————————————- Sydney N’s Report: The essential question for the Ecology unit was: “How can we tell if an ecosystem is healthy?”  I can tell if an ecosystem is healthy by testing the chemistry, animals, and plants of the ecosystem for their health.  For example, if the ecosystem was an aquatic ecosystem, I would take water samples, temperatures, and plant and animal samples.  I would know the ecosystem was healthy if the chemistry and organisms were healthy.  However, there are many more factors that come into play with determining an ecosystem’s health.  A healthy, working food chain would be an example of another component of a healthy ecosystem.  If the food chain isn’t working properly, there wouldn’t be a diversity of organisms, and some species in that ecosystem could become endangered or extinct.   At Hyla Woods, our group tested site E of Lousignout Creek.  We decided to split up the work in order to get all of the requirements finished on time. While a couple of us worked on writing the habitat description, sketching the surroundings, and performing air and water tests, like D.O., pH, temperature, and turbidity, the rest of the group searched for leaves and made the leaf pack for Benthic Macroinvertebrates to live, so we could determine the EPT rating and stream health. Our greatest challenge was the weather because the snow and wind made testing difficult and water levels would rise and fall because of the melting snow.   Habitat Analysis of the First Trip: Stream habits present logs, wetlands, woody debris, leaves, and aquatic vegetation.  The appearance of the water was clear with an oily sheen.  Human modification of the site was displayed by a pile of logs that resembled a beaver dam....

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