Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 25: Free the feet

Let's start out with some pictures:

Tundra in bloom

Spruce in purple

I had the afternoon off so I went out with Celia from Queen's, who is doing a mesocosm experiment to see the response on the zooplankton community with added nutrients and varying salinity. She is still setting up, so I was able to help by gathering the zooplankton with this sock-like fine net. We then put the zooplankton into the bags in the mesocosms so the bags have a good representation of the zooplankton community of the lake. The experiment is like the next level of my little pool one. Mine is in a pool, her's in a lake. Mine looks at plants, algae on the sediment (benthos) and in the water (phytoplankton), her's looks at animals, zooplankton. Mine has about 30 small 1 liter containers, her's has about 75 large 40 liter bags, so mine is a microcosm and her's is a mesocosm experiment. Mine is an undergrad project, her's is a master's thesis. So yea, similarities stop after saying that we both look at lakes. Pretty cool though!

The 70 or so mesocosm bags in the lake. We can only get to them by
wearing chest waders or taking a boat out (for the last couple of rows it's
just too deep for the chest waders). 

I'm in a boat! See how happy I am to be in a
boat and working outside?

So I am hammering sheets of plastic over top of the the bags
to reduce evaporation and dilution by rainfall and to stop
bugs from laying their larvae in them - perfect mosquito habitat!
I also saw a daphnia give birth under a microscope! How cool is that?!

This is a daphnia and the little circle coming out of the
bottom is a baby daphnia! This is also what I want to make
my costume of for the Bay Dip on Canada Day!
(not my pic - from flickr!)
Another bear sighting today in the fen - the same polar bear and a black bear! Still haven't seen any though.

As for the "free the feet" comment, after spending a couple hours in hip waders that are a size too big while kneeling in a boat, it is absolute luxury to be barefoot. Feet freed!

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