Oceanography – Microorganisms
NOAA needs our team of oceanographers to investigate how temperature affects plankton physiology – ocean temps are on the rise, after all! Plankton play an important role in all water ecosystems, especially being a food source for many larger animals. If rising temperatures affect plankton adversely, we may need to anticipate a lot of trickle-down effects on the organisms that depend on them as a food source. Daphnia, commonly called water fleas, were studied today when our aspiring oceanographers turned their camera phones into microscopes in order to observe plankton physiology (such as heart rate, or abdominal pulses of the Daphnia). Yesterday they collected baseline physiology data (room temperature) and today they repeated their experiments using ice water and/or warmed water.
Ask your camper: How did the ice affect the physiology of Daphnia? (colder temperatures resulted in decreased heart rates). What about the warmer temps? (warmer temps resulted in increased heart rates and sometimes death)