Windsor 7 is Knee Deep in Plankton May 16
The Windsor 7 kids are working on their current expedition, Living Water
Living Water is an expedition about plankton and the Gulf of Maine. We
have gone on two field experiences already. We plan to go on our third
We have been learning all about plankton
and how they impact the Gulf of Maine. You may not think they’re all
that important but they are the basis of our diverse ecosystem.
Plankton are the original producers of
oxygen in our atmosphere and made life for animals on land possible.
Today they account for 70 percent of the oxygen we breath and play a
major role in the carbon cycle which is at the heart of global warming
Students Kickoff the Expedition at the Wells Nature Reserve
We got our first taste of collecting and
examining plankton at the Wells Nature Reserve. After collecting
samples, we returned to the lab to see plankton up close, learn about
the differences between zooplankton and phytoplankton, and explore why
these tiny organism play such a big role in life on earth.
Fieldwork and Service on the Casco Bay
To learn about Plankton first hand, we
conducted fieldwork on the Casco Bay, at Mackworth island, the Maine
Yacht Center, and the East End Beach. At these stations we did multiple
water test, including dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, temperature and
water depth. These test are used by the Friends of Casco Bay to monitor the health of the ecosystem.
Once we get to our locations we were split into groups
and were each assigned a test. We had to work fast because we had a time
limit. Another obstacle was the weather. It could be nice but some
times it was unforgiving. It is hard to do a DO when it feels like your
hand is about to fall off because you have been reaching into water that
is 13 degrees Celsius. Even though we had to out last the cold we still
had a lot of fun and it was a good experience.
A big part of expeditions is getting to work with professionals from the field. In addition to collaborating with Friends of Casco Bay,
we were lucky to spend time with Amy Cline and Tim Moore, researchers
at UNH, who study plankton in the Casco bay. Tim and Amy presented
recent scientific findings on climate change and shared the work of area
scientists about plankton and climate.
The Journals: Our Final Product
The final product of our expedition, Living Water
was our journals. We had been working on them for the majority of the
expedition. Everybody had a different journal, because the criteria
wasn’t very strict. We needed a title page, a plankton page, and a page
for each fieldwork experience.
When we first started the journals, Mrs. Maclean, the
WIndsor 6 science teacher, came to show us some of her journals. She
really got everyone excited, and put all of Windsor 7 in an artsy mood.
We learned that journals aren't limited to words, but can include
pictures, drawings, flaps and tabs, leaves, and any other artifacts we