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Environmental Studies

Scientists for a Day at Merrymeeting Bay
ES 101 Students Conduct Research

Posted July 23, 2012

This past weekend, I went to Merrymeeting Bay with my classmates and the professors of Introduction to Environmental Studies to conduct research. On a beautiful Sunday morning, we started our day off with breakfast in the Environmental Studies Common Room in Adams Hall and a short presentation about what we would do for the remainder of the day. The water group, which I was part of, would collect samples of water from three different bodies of water at or surrounding Merrymeeting Bay. Other students would capture insects, take soil samples from the ground, and hunt down the purple loosestrife plant, an invasive species.

Soon after arriving at the bay, we took a long walking tour of the area wading through large puddles of rain water and avoiding poison ivy plants. Then, with our groups we formulated a hypothesis, and created procedures to conduct our research. My group started our research by stepping into waders and entering the water. We collected three samples from each site where we encountered tadpoles and water fleas! Though our job was tough, we were the first group to finish.  When the other groups came back we learned about the other groups’ research.  Some students struggled to find the purple loosestrife and others had to face the bugs we have come to fear the most: spiders! 

We soon returned to Adams Hall to analyze our water samples for pH and turbidity and collaborated with the other water group to present the data to Professor Vasudevan, Eileen Johnson, and the rest of the students.  The other groups also presented their findings and shared some funny stories. The students had a great time being scientists for a day!

Story contributed by Symone Howard '15

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