Engaging with Science | Aug 1, 2015
July is here! The weather is warm, research at IISD-ELA is underway and the Secchi Dip-In has begun! Run by theNorth American Lake Management Society (NALMS), the Secchi Dip-In is an annual citizen science initiative dedicated to collecting information on water quality from across North America. Since its inception in 1994, thousands of volunteers from all over the continent have gone out to local lakes, rivers and streams, and taken measurements of water transparency. Those volunteers then upload their measurements to the Secchi Dip-In’s database, allowing researchers to analyze differences in water clarity across geographical boundaries and track long-term changes to water.
The Secchi Dip-In is named after the primary tool used by researchers to measure water transparency, the Secchi disk. A Secchi disk is a simple yet effective device consisting of a black and white disk attached to a rope. To measure water transparency, users simply lower the disk into the water until it reaches the point where it is no longer visible. This gives a measurement of how transparent the water is.
This year, IISD-ELA is happy to participate in the Secchi Dip-In! In late July, IISD-ELA is hosting a field course for high school students on environmental research. As part of the course, the students will be taking Secchi disk measurements on several lakes, including Teggau and Winnange.
Be sure to read our next newsletter for more info on IISD-ELA’s participation in this initiative!