High School Oceanography – Our First

We are planning to provide learning experiences to K-12 groups and last week we got to try one out with a keen group from Olds High School Alberta   Led by teacher Marilyn Wallace and joined by Dr. Bill Pennell, we took to Baynes Sound in the Chetlo to ask some questions – how do we measure the physical and biological properties of the ocean?

Bill gives a breifing.


Brian explaining how we use a YSI sonde to measure physical properties such as temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen.


Lowering the sonde….


Students recording measurements in teams for salinity, temperature and oxygen. The centre of the sound was remarkably well mixed with the temperature in the neighborhood of 7.45 deg C.


Afterwards we performed a sechhi measurement, the class looking over the side decided the Secchi depth was 5.25 metres.


A quick plankton tow gave us a great sample – here Bill has the students test it by smell :), smells like the ocean! Signs of the start of a good diatom bloom.


Back at the Station we had some dissecting scopes set-up.


Everyone had fun looking at the life within the plankton.


Bill whose first love is biological oceanography provided serious expert help and found crab larvae (zoea), swimming snails (pteropods) and copepods just to name a few.


This was a great experience for everyone and good practice for us as we design more formal programs that we hope to be able to roll out this fall. Stay tuned for more information.


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