Today we went on the lake. We did a wide variety of tests and experiments while on the boat today, including testing the water at different depths, using a succi disk to test transparency, collecting algae and cyanobacteria specimens, and collecting and measuring tul samples. The tests we ran on the water ranged from the temperature at a certain depth to the conductivity, oxygen percentage, and pH.  All of the water tests were mainly to show us how to perform the tests but they are all used to check on the status of the lake. For the tul we did quadrat sampling, which is counting how much of a certain plant occurs in a .5 sq. m and we also collected some to measure the length, the wet weight, and the dry weight. Along with running all these tests, we also checked on a couple of our disintegration tests to make sure they weren't stolen and they were all still doing okay.

Back in the house, we performed the measurements of the tul except for the dry weight test, which must be done at one of the local colleges because we don't have a special oven to dry it out.  We also filtered the water samples and collected the used filters to test the chlorophyl a amounts which can give us some information on how much cyanobacteria, algae, and other plant life is in the water at each depth.

We had a short lecture today reviewing the different nitrogen transformation pathways and learning about the availability of phosphorous and how it occurs as phosphate in most cases in the natural world.

Pictures of the outing today to come tomorrow hopefully.

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Tags: Atitlan, Guatemala, Lake, Water, tests

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