Sampling Equipment on the Lake Guardian
The Seabird is used to collect basic water column information such as temperature, depth, conductivity (which helps to determine salinity), pH, light penetration, water transparency and chlorophyll.This type of information provides a basic understanding of the system’s vital parameters.The Seabird is comprised of multiple cylinders, boxes, tubes and wires encased within a wire cage.It collects data on the aforementioned parameters four times a second and transmits this information to the ship’s computer with remarkable speed and accuracy.
Organics extraction equipment
used to measure some of our most common and persistent organic pollutants, such as PCBs.PCBs, just one of the many organic pollutants in our region, have troubled environmental scientists and regulators for the past 50 years as a result of their lethal qualities and persistent nature.Organics extraction equipment remove the contaminant from the impacted media (i.e. air, water or sediment) for concentration measurements and risk evaluations.
The box corer is used to collect a sediment sample from the bottom of the lake without disturbing the surface. These samples or sub-samples are often evaluated for contaminants or plant and animal communities. The corer is a metallic box with jaws that is operated via winch.
Chemistry lab equipment
Auto-analyzers, computers, reagent flasks and other specialized analytical equipment is found in the chemistry laboratory on-board R/V Lake Guardian .Some analyses must be completed within a relatively short period of time, therefore R/V Lake Guardian is equipped for such tests.The Laboratory also contains a “Clean Room” in which mercury analyses are performed.The Clean Room is equipped with special air filters, constant positive air pressure, and restricted admittance on-board the ship.
The Rosette sampler collects water samples from any depth.These samples can then be analyzed in the laboratory for a variety of nutrients and chemicals that the Seabird is unable to measure while suspended in the water column (i.e. Total phosphorus, chlorides, atrazine, etc.).Approximately a dozen vertical plastic cylinders are attached to a wire cage device that is lowered into the water column from its own sampling platform.
Air sampling equipment
Air sampling equipment is used to filter particles and gasses from the air.These samples are analyzed for atmospheric contaminants.GLNPO scientists monitor atmospheric contaminants since contaminants can drop out of the atmospheric phase and end up in the water column.The samplers are found on the bow of the boat, where they are pointed into the wind for several hours to grab air upwind of any sort of exhaust stack.
Plankton nets are set from the back of the ship to collect the organisms that form the base of the lake's food chain: phytoplankton (algae) and zooplankton (small animals).Plankton samples are then evaluated for their abundance, diversity and overall health, since the base of the food chain supports the entire system.The nets are made of a fine white mesh material; they can be 3 to 10 feet long and 1 to 3 feet in diameter.
The Phyto Vibes device was developed by the GLNPO staff to improve plankton sampling procedures.Thousands of gallons of water are strained through plankton nets to collect adequate phytoplankton samples for contaminant analyses.The nets get clogged often during the process, so GLNPO created the “phytoplankton vibrator” to make the collection process more efficient.