On Friday, October 13th, UConn Early College Experience, and the UConn ECE Faculty Coordinator for Marine Science, Prof. Claudia Koerting met with certified MARN Instructors for their annual professional development workshop. The purpose of the day’s workshop was to familiarize teachers with both old and new equipment used to sample and analyze water quality and to make connections among faculty new to the ECE program and veteran Instructors.
The group of 13 ECE Instructors set out on a boat and enjoyed the scenery while becoming acquainted. They gathered at the Sabino dock to board the “Mystic Seaport Express” captained by Liz Sistare (UConn ’13), Waterfront Operations Supervisor. Participating instructors represented 5 of Connecticut’s counties.
The breezy but sunny day began with a trip through the Mystic Drawbridge. After passing the railroad bridge they found a site by channel marker 30 in the Mystic River to make their first set of measurements using instruments that measure salinity, oxygen, and temperature. They deployed a water sampler to retrieve water samples near the bottom and used a simple bucket for surface water samples. They performed two plankton tows and brought those samples back for microscopic evaluation. Two more sites were chosen: one nearer to the mouth of the river and the other closer to the outflow for the treatment plant. Water samples were returned with the group to the seaport sailing center where they tested for chlorophyll content using a fluorometer and performed a light/dark experiment with water from two sites. Conversations were held about how these samples could inform scientists and regulators about policy guiding water use in the river. Comparisons were drawn with boat trips teachers have made all along the Connecticut shoreline.
After lunch at the sailing center the group ran their analysis, looked at the plankton tow and compared oxygen uptake in the light/dark bottle experiment. The day ended with Instructors learning a new method, learning a new instrument, or walking away with new connections and ideas.
UConn MARN courses offered through ECE.