In this activity, students investigate water quality parameters to study the nature of, and the cyclical changes inherent in, the chemistry of estuarine water. Students study key water quality factors at several stations in a single reserve over time—including current, daily, and yearly time scales. Students also compare water quality values over a yearly time scale in three different estuaries within NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System—South Slough (Oregon), Delaware, and Old Woman Creek (Ohio). Then students take water quality measurements at a local site and compare these measurements with those in the three geographically diverse research reserve estuarine environments.
This activity has five parts:
- What Is an Estuary?
- Investigating Water Quality in an Estuary
- Investigating Water Quality over a Day
- Investigating Water Quality over a Year
- Comparing Water Quality Data between Two Different Estuarine Environments
+ Read More
Students should understand that:
- Describe how different chemical and physical properties affect and interact within an estuarine environment.
- Explain how analyzing chemical and physical water quality data can lead to an understanding of estuary dynamics.