BHS Pond Monitoring
Barnstable High School Environmental Club Pond Monitoring
In the fall of 2017, BCWC began working with members of the Barnstable High School Environmental Club on a winter pond monitoring project. The purpose of the project was to expose high school students to hands-on field work using water sampling equipment. Three monitoring locations were chosen in Centerville that are close to the high school: Lake Wequaquet, Bearse Pond and Long Pond. Each of the sampling sites has a dock that is accessed through a private homeowner’s property.
At each monitoring site, the students record visual observations and physical conditions, look for macroinvertebrates, and collect water samples to test for nitrate/phosphate levels and the presence of cyanobacteria.
For visual observations and physical conditions, the students note water, weather, and wind conditions, take air and water temperatures with thermometers, use dissolved oxygen meters to measure the dissolved oxygen levels in the water, measure depth and turbidity using a Secchi disc, and record waterfowl sightings and vegetation growth in the sampling area.
Using dip nets and shovels, students gather bottom debris and sediment and sort through it looking for macroinvertebrates. A dichotomous key is used to help identify any organisms found. Commonly seen macroinvertebrates at these three freshwater sites include damselfly and dragonfly nymphs, crayfish and diving beetles.
Water samples are collected at each site. The students test for nitrate and phosphate using Hach test kits.