Zooplankton Volunteer Jacob Zooplankton Volunteer Joanne Plankton
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Plankton Monitoring Studies

Plankton are organisms drifting in oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, ponds; in salt water and in freshwater. The amount and types of plankton present give us information about food web interactions and water quality. Data from the zooplankton project and water quality data help us understand food web and habitat interactions, deepening our understanding of the ecology of Otter Point Creek.

Because plankton are not visible to the unaided eye, their importance can be overlooked. We know that other "unseen" factors that influence life in the Bay can have devastating effects if they are out of balance. For example, water with low levels of dissolved oxygen "looks" perfectly normal yet can cause fish kills.

How You Can Help:

Zooplankton Monitoring Citizen Science Program - Mesozooplankton ("medium-sized") are collected once per week from April to October at ACLEC's Pontoon Pier. The pier has a DNR continuous water quality monitoring station which records environmental data. The samples are brought back to the lab, counted, and the data is entered into an Excel spreadsheet which includes water quality and weather data.

Research projects:zooplankton

  • Development of a micro-culturing technique
  • The effect of changing salinity on species
  • Community composition in response to water quality parameters

Volunteer CorpsZooplankton volunteerZooplankton volunteer

Heidy Blumenschein
Joanne Mattson
Claire Hauer
Frank Mannone
Clarke Romans
Peggy Mannone
Megan Gaesser
Jacob Corselius
Bill Roberts
Nancy Newman
Madeline Lovera
Gayanne Basham

Past Volunteers

Trey Morton
Samantha Castillo
Katie Soltysiak
Brittany Long
Helene Klair
Linda Romans
Jeff Griffin

For more information:

Contact project coordinator, Kathleen Baker-Brosh, Ph.D, Research Naturalist at 410-612-1688 or aclec@harfordcountymd.gov



Monday thru Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.



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Anita C. Leight Estuary Center / 700 Otter Point Road, Abingdon MD 21009 / 410-612-1688