October 10 was the last day on the water this season for the RV Chippewa, the research vessel for Central Michigan’s Biological Station and the Institute for Great Lakes Research.
Dr. Don Uzarski, Director of CMUBS and IGLR and his crew demonstrated some of the equipment which is used to collect data.
Bottom samples were taken from the lake. GPS readings allow for accuracy which allows them to sample the exact spot at a later date. Among the debris brought up in one scoop of the bottom on this day were numerous zebra mussels and a goby – both invasive species.
Water samples are taken with the aid of a device lowered containing various sensors which relay a variety of information – such as dissolved oxygen, turbity, temperature and pH levels – to a remote hand held device.
Another piece of equipment utilized was a plankton net which is made of an extremely fine material and is towed behind the boat to acquire aquatic life suspended in the water.
For more on this impressive research vessel, see the upcoming November issue of NorthernIslander.