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What better way to kick off the school year than with a real life, hands-on, field excursion?

The school year has finally begun and our WHALES educational program is in full swing! Yesterday we gave Advanced Placement Environmental Science (APES) students from Troy High School an in-class introduction to watersheds.

Today we took them out in the field to see the Fullerton Creek sub watershed right across the street from the school. Here they conducted a hands-on biological assessment of the creek. Students gathered samples of water and sediment from within the creek which they then sorted through to look for benthic macroinvertebrates.

Benthic macroinvertebrates are:

  • Bottom dwelling (benthic)
  • Large enough to see with the naked eye (macro). They do not require a microscope to view; macro is opposite of micro.
  • Creatures who do not have a backbone and sometimes have an exoskeleton (invertebrates)

Some of the notable creatures students found today include: freshwater clams, larval stage mayflies, segmented worms, scuds, blood midges, 3 crayfish, leeches, and a pouch snail.

Want to see more photos of this field excursion? Visit our Facebook page!