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Water Quality & Lake Ecology


    A good introductory video from Dr. John Halfman.

     Dr. Halfmans lake monitoring datasets are available here.

COMMUNITY SCIENCE INSTITUTE:  Offers extensive  Cayuga Lake and Tributaries Data!  CsiOTHER  LOCAL SOURCES:
Cornell University - Lake Modeling Project  

This 15-minute summarizes the role of oxygen in lakes.  Q & A at the end!  (Click on the image.)
Is there a DEAD ZONE in Cayuga?  We hope not, but we'll be checking this year!  Watch this video from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to learn how we'll do it.

Photo by CBF Staff.

Click on this image to navigate to an excellent site, "Microbial Life Educational Resources"
Could this happen in Cayuga Lake? 

For a look at how Cayuga's water clarity changes with the seasons, click on this link to see a presentation of student data, from 2008-2012, on  
Invasive plants, fish and other organisms are likely the greatest threat to the Finger Lakes.  Seemingly desirable fish, such as brown trout and rainbow smelt were once purposefully introduced, and ultimately changed the fundamental ecology of Cayuga Lake.  Today, incidental introductions of zebra and quagga mussels, round gobies, and plants such as Hydrilla verticillata and European Water Chestnut threated to alter lake conditions even more.  Check out these resources:

Interactive Reading on Invasive Aquatic Plants (Elementary/MS) is available from the University of Florida. 

Learn About the Return of Ospreys to the Cayuga Basin!

More info and links available HERE on our blog!  
Tracking Water Clarity
Water clarity observations can help us understand what is happening in our lake- if we know what to look for!  We track water clarity throughout the season, linking our findings with water quality and biological events like "algae blooms". 
Astronomer Pietro Angelo Secchi demonstrated his Sec
chi disk to
Pope Pius IX aboard his yacht, L'Immaculata Concezion, ca. April 20, 1865.  We still use it today! 
Check out the video below, and learn how to use a Secchi Disk.

YouTube Video

Practice the Secchi Disk!
This On-Line SIMULATOR demonstrates use of the Secchi disk in various conditions.  (Works best in Internet Explorer)
Tracking Water Temperature & Chemistry

Van Dorn Water Sampler Demonstration

View LAKE PROFILES generated by Floating Classroom students over the course of 2011!

Lake Biology - Collecting Plankton Samples

Plankton Net Demo aboard US EPA vessel Peter Wise on Lake Michigan

During your cruise, we will like collect plankton samples and observing the community under the microscope.  Along with our own tools, we often use the University of New Hampshire's