On Wednesday, November 10th, 40 students from the CMS Chapter of the Bioma Project visited Piney Run Park in Carroll County, Maryland. They came to Piney Run to study the ecology of large lakes, as well as the ecosystem that surrounds them.
Above: Three students pose for a picture while dip netting.
After a 30 minute drive, the students went into Piney Run Nature Center, where the staff there helped them dip net for small organisms in the water. The students would then learn about organisms after taking them to a high powered microscope for observation.
Top: Students dip net for small fish.
Bottom: Students examine their catch.
Stduents also wade through the water with dip nets. All the organisms caught are recorded.
“This was the favorite part of the trip,” says student Azariah Seblu, age 13. “I like catching fish and examining them. I find new things about them almost all the time.”
Students also catch small aquatic insects, crayfish, snails, and find some shells. They also gather aquatic plants and rocks to examine later under a microscope.
Below: Seblu (white jacket) wades through the water to dip net.
After dip netting for some time, students go inside the nature center at Piney Run, where, after a short discussion, the staff put the organisms caught by the students on a high powered microscope. The staff then begin to teach the students about the life cycle of the organisms, and their respective roles in the ecosystems of a lake.
Above: Students study about the aquatic insects of Piney Run.
After that, students went into another section of the Piney Run nature center and studied about land animals and reptiles native to Maryland, and the important roles the animals play into the ecosystem at Piney Run. Animals observed include Red Tailed Hawks, Painted Turtles, Corn Snakes, and Eastern Box Turtles.
“It was really interesting looking at the animals at Piney Run,” remarks one student I had no idea that land animals could play such important roles in an aquatic ecosystem. I sure learned a lot of facts today!”
After that, the students went fishing for Piney Run’s native fish species. They have caught and recorded several fish species, including bluegill, yellow perch, green sunfish, and brown bullhead catfish, despite the cold temperature and rainy weather.
Above: Students fishing for native Maryland fish.
Lastly, after an exhausting day of learning and fun, the students pile into the bus and leave Piney Run Park.
“I liked the trip,” states student Holden Kim, age 14. “I learned many things, despite the weather. I would definitely go on this trip again!”