Hello! This is Katie Melgaard and Marta Johnson, your bloggers for the final day of the Shipboard Science Workshop 2017. We were only on board for the morning, but it was a typically busy time. After breakfast, we gathered for the final presentations from our research groups. These presentations were the culmination of the sampling and data analysis that we’ve done this week.
The Water Quality group was led by Derek Ager, with teacher participants Sarah Jordan, Molly Schuld, Karla Schuessler, Anna Nelson-Lenhart, Phil Thouin, and Melanie Yau. They studied whether there were any differences in water quality between near shore and far shore sampling sites as well as between deep and shallow sites. They found some indications of differences in turbidity between the near shore and far shore sites as well as some differences in conductivity between their sites. Most of the sites that were sampled fit within the historical trends except for two near shore sites in Saginaw Bay.
The Fish Larvae and Zooplankton group was led by Stephen Hensler, and the teacher participants were Marta Johnson, Lori Haak, Dave Cusma, and Skye Powers-Kaminski. This group examined data related to the feeding relationships in Lake Huron. They found that both larvae and zooplankton are distributed in patches around Lake Huron and that the density of the organisms varies greatly by sample site. Their findings also raised a number of questions about the relationship between water nutrients and the populations of zooplankton and fish larvae.
The Adult Fish and Benthos group was led by David Jude, with Katie Melgaard, Donna Meller, Holly Yee, Jeff Kalember and Andy Urquhart. They looked at adult fish data (including stomach contents) and the benthos layer. They found that mostly Oligigochetes (segmented worms) inhabited the deeper layers and Chironomidae (midges) were in shallower water. Also, Diporeia, which are considered rare in Lake Huron, were commonly found in deep water sculpin stomachs.
After the presentations, we held a wrap-up meeting. We reflected on how our participation in Shipboard Science 2017 will impact our teaching when we return to our classrooms in the fall. The week was an extremely worthwhile experience for us all. Finally, Dr. Jude serenaded us on his guitar.
It was an exciting and busy week, and we’re so thankful to have had the opportunity to spend a week aboard the R/V Lake Guardian. Check back here in the coming days for a final, wrap-up post by SSW participant Jeff Kalember.