Posted by: csdailyblog | November 7, 2011

Conserve Students Collect Macro-invertebrates

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In Field Instruction class on Thursday and Friday, students donned waders, carried buckets and nets to the shore of Big Donahue Lake, scooped up lake muck at the water’s edge, and then sorted through mud and decaying plants to find the tiny water creatures living under logs and among the weeds at the shoreline. The particular assortment of macro-invertebrates (insects and worms large enough to be seen with the naked eye) in any body of water indicates the quality of the water, since some macro-invertebrates are more sensitive to pollutants than others. Collecting the invertebrates gave students an opportunity to gauge the water quality of Big Donahue Lake as well as practice in identifying macro-invertebrates and in using dichotomous keys as identification guides.

The schedule for Field Instruction and Science classes is designed to facilitate opportunities to merge these two subjects, and this lesson is one example of this multi-disciplinary approach. Students had learned the basics of identifying macro-invertebrates and testing water quality in Science class, and in Field Instruction they had the opportunity to spend more time putting this knowledge to use and studying it in depth.

– Mary Anna

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