This week, 33 SMUS students headed out onto the Pacific Ocean to take their marine science studies out of the classroom. The Grade 9 and 10 students travelled up to Pearson College and took a boat into Pedder Bay.
“We have been studying the effect of salinity and temperature on the density of seawater in class,” says Christie Johnson. The students took water samples from the ocean at various places and measured them for salinity (salt content) and temperature using a TS meter. They used a secchi disk to test the clarity/turbidity of the water, data they will compile back in the lab.
They also collected a large number of plankton by using a large conical net. A few lucky plankton will go under the microscope in one of the students’ upcoming classes.
While out on their trip, the students also had the opportunity to examine a kelp forest as well as discuss the ecological significance of this habitat to marine organisms, shoreline stability and general marine productivity. Students also saw seals, vultures and cormorants while gaining some boating experience and enjoying floating suits, which are yellow jumpers designed to keep ocean adventurers dry and warm.
Marine science is an elective class where students study more than the biology of oceanic creatures and their environment. “They do all aspects of marine science,” says Mrs. Jackson, who chaperoned the outing.