Round-the-Clock Measurements of Seawater Quality from Cottage #22

Round-the-Clock Measurements of Seawater Quality from Cottage #22

This past month, researchers from UCI spent the night doing ‘round-the-clock’ measurements of seawater collected each hour from Crystal Cove’s surf zone.  Genevieve Bernatchez, a UCI Lab Specialist working in Dr. Matthew Bracken’s Marine Biodiversity Lab, has been collecting weekly samples since November.  The overnight research was designed to provide more detail about what might be happening between monthly collections.

Genevieve and her team tested the water for a specific form of chlorophyll known as Chlorophyll-A, which is used by both phytoplankton and plants to turn light into energy during photosynthesis, along with pH (or acidity) levels, and other crucial nutrients for intertidal species.

“We’re monitoring to see if there are enough nutrients for phytoplankton to grow in this environment,” says Genevieve.

After all of the water quality data has been collected and analyzed, the Marine Biodiversity Lab plans to compile all of the information into an online database, which Genevieve hopes will inspire students and researchers to raise more questions and help park natural resource personnel keep their finger on the pulse of Crystal Cove’s ocean ecosystem.

Cottage #22’s Park & Marine Research Facility is an operating marine field station supporting ocean research and education.  There are always a number of environmental subjects – ranging from ocean acidification to dolphin surveys to marine viruses – that are being researched  within the cottage.

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