Hands-on Research at UConn

by Carsten Lohan ’13 –

Last Thursday at 7:20 AM, twenty-six Pomfret students taking Marine Biology and AP Environmental Science classes headed to the University of Connecticut Avery Point Campus for a field trip. Upon our arrival, we boarded UConn’s 65-foot floating research vessel, the Enviro-Lab III, and left port for Long Island Sound.

The vessel is fitted with various scientific research instruments, sampling tools, and a large fishing net.  We used a variety of equipment to measure the water temperature, salinity, depth, dissolved oxygen content and clarity of the water in the Sound.  After gathering significant data, including a foul smelling core sample of the seafloor, we set our fishing net and began trawling along the coast.  When we began to bring the net in by hand, no one was expecting our catch to be as varied and large as it was. Hundreds of crabs were caught in the net, as well as dozens of fish, and one horseshoe crab, that was tagged, recorded, and promptly released.  We sorted our catch, counted our species, and measured both the crabs and the fish.  After several hours at sea, we returned to UConn’s campus and toured a fully functioning marine biology lab.  We were also lucky enough to get a firsthand look at several of UConn’s Remote Operated Vehicles, which is equipped with cameras and sensors and probes the depth of the sea.

The trip was both entertaining and educational, and the chance to conduct real hands on research was a great opportunity for each of us.

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photos by Carsten Lohan ’13 & Johnny Richmond ’13

About Pomfret School

Founded in 1894, Pomfret is an independent co-educational college preparatory boarding and day school for 350 students in grades 9 through 12 and postgraduate, located on a scenic 500 acre campus in Northeastern Connecticut.
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