On Thursday March 22nd, Parker, Noah, Jean, Kaylen, Ryan and Julian were able to get out of the classroom on a beautiful sunny day to gather hands on knowledge of plankton. We started our trip on a UW research boat where we calculated its speed. We found that our speed was about 60 meters per minute, which meant that we would cover 600 meters of water in our 10 minutes of towing. Once we arrived at our destination (right outside of Deer Harbor at Orcas Island) we dropped our net and towed it along the boat for the ten minutes. We calculated that over the ten minutes we had filtered 31.8m3 or 31,800 liters through the net opening that had an area of .053 square meters. Once we took our net out of the water and placed our concentrated plankton sample into a clear container we could see that we had a very concentrated sample of plankton.  With the naked eye we were able to see all of the larger zooplankton and copepods swimming through the water.
We then took our plankton sample back to the labs where we were able to look at the plankton under microscopes. It got us all pretty excited to see all of the different and alien looking plankton under the scopes. One in particular looked almost like a worm/centipede that had little egg like things attached to it. It was pretty exciting to be able to sketch the plankton and to identify some of the species. Our field trip was very fun and really put some meaning behind the things that we have been learning in the classroom. It was a great experience and we all learned a lot of neat things about planktons.






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