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Urban Water TMU grad students host Field Techniques Class

On Friday March 15th, Urban Water students participated in an environmental sciences field methods training outing. 

The training was led by PhD students Wyatt Weatherson (co-supervised by Claire Oswald and Carolyn Johns) - who has several years of field research experience through his Masters' thesis, and his continued participation in the wastewater surveillance project - and Bryant M. Serre (co-supervised by Stephanie Melles and Claire Oswald), who was trained by staff of the United States Geological Survey and Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to conduct field sampling of benthic macroinvertebrates and algae. 

12 undergraduate and graduate students - from broad research profiles in biomedical science, botany, public health, and plastics -- visited Yellow Creek (a tributary of the Don River) to learn about i) field safety, ii) water sampling, iii) the importance of collecting field data using multiparameter sensors (dO2, pH, Conductivity, TDS, temperature), iv) conducting benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, and v) algae sampling techniques. 

This training opportunity for students was initiated through Dr. Stephanie Melles and Bryant Serre's supervision of students participating in the SCI 999: Research Practicum course within the Department of Chemistry and Biology, Faculty of Science. Throughout the semester, students have met weekly to learn culturing methods, anatomy, and how to conduct ecotoxicological tests on freshwater plankton species in Toronto Harbour, in addition to advanced microscopy techniques for algae and zooplankton species, while supporting research in the Melles lab on the impact assessment of road salt on zooplankton communities in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern.