CAYUGA LAKE FLOATING CLASSROOM WEBLOG

Trip Reports & On-Line Citizen Science

- field trips & charters
- public eco-cruises
- internships & youth programming


Phone: (607) 697-0166
Email: floatingclassroom@cayugawatershed.org!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Southside Camp Cruise #1

Another excellent outing with the kids from Southside Daycamp today-- this time on the lake!

We focused on getting to know the boat and learning how to use all of the equipment on board. We also worked on the experiment that we started with the GIAC group yesterday to see how quickly zebra mussels could clarify water. The water we put in the jar with the zebra mussels was almost totally clear today. We put in more turbid (cloudy) water, and we'll see whether the mussels can clarify that by tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GIAC Pre-Teen Green Cruise #2

We had a great cruise this morning with the GIAC pre-teen green program. The weather was beautiful, everybody was willing to pitch in, and we found out some really interesting things about the lake!

We began the day by doing a depth profile near Cornell's RUSS Station. We found that the pH was very high, around 9.0, meaning that the water was very basic. We later confirmed this when we saw plants coated in a whitish crystalline substance called calcium carbonate, which begins to settle out of the water onto plants when the pH is about 9.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Today, we also joined GIAC's Pre-Teen Green youths for a hike up Six Mile Creek. At "Second Dam" we discussed the history of the City's water supply (which comes from Six Mile Creek). Nobody was very happy about the litter and beer cans we found strewn about the creek, so we decided to conduct an impromptu cleanup! These kids are ready to make a difference- thanks ya'll! (Let's keep it clean- people!)

Cayuga Explorers: Day 3


Yet another fun and hot day on the lake! We decided to work on some shallow water samples today. We pulled up several different kinds of plants from the west side of the lake, and we worked on drawing the plants to show what they looked like. We also pulled up some mud from the bottom of the lake and looked through it to figure out was living there. We found the fruits from curly-leafed pondweed as well as some insect larvae, mussels and amphipods (fresh-water shrimp). We also managed to fit in another quick swim at Myer's Point to cool off. Tomorrow will be our last day, although we encourage everybody to come out on our eco-cruise this weekend, which is designed to let the campers use the skills that they've learned this week.
Photo at the right: Explorers demonstrate the thermocline in Cayuga Lake! Cold blue-dyed water from deep in the lake is sinking to the bottom of our model water column. Warmer, sun warmed, water is floating at the top.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cayuga Explorers: Day 2

Another excellent but very warm day on the lake today! We made a model of the thermocline in a jar using warm and cold water, had a contest to see who could get an accurate deep-water (80 meters) sample from the lake the fastest (to be continued tomorrow...) and pulled up plants from the lake to study. We also stopped off at Myer's point to swim and cool down. We're looking forward to day 3 tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Cayuga Explorers" Summer Camp: Day 1

We had an excellent (although quite hot) first day of Cayuga Explorers summer camp today! We worked hard and had fun doing some basic lake sampling, including retrieving samples from different depths in the lake to find out where the thermocline (division between warm and cold water in the lake) was. We also took plankton samples and secchi disk (light penetration depth)readings. We found that light was going about 12 meters into the lake and that the thermocline was at a depth of 15-20 meters. More pix are available on our Picasa Album.