November 14, 2018


Bureau of Aquaculture

On the last two Fridays in October, staff from the Department of Agriculture (DoAg)’s Bureau of Aquaculture took a University of New Haven (UNH) class out on trips on the John H. Volk, DoAg’s shellfish research vessel.

Students in this Introduction to Marine Biology class are in the process of learning about field work, how to perform different tests, and what parameters they should be measuring.

Professor Jean-Paul Simjouw is coordinator of the undergraduate environmental science program at UNH and this class is the second class he has brought out with DoAg staff to perform environmental monitoring tests.

This semester, students were using Niskin Bottles to take water samples as well as measure in-situ water quality parameters with a CTD device, to measure conductivity, temperature, and depth throughout the water column.

From the water samples they grabbed with the Niskin Bottle— a simple device that to take samples from a specific depth in the water column—students were measuring parameters such as salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH, as well as phosphate and nitrogen concentration.

Overall, DoAg took out about 45 students over two days. Each day, half of the students would take readings and samples off of the dock at DoAg’s Milford laboratory while the other half of the class would take readings and samples from the boat.

The groups would then swap, and each group would compare data they collected from the boat to the data they collected from the dock.

Taking students out on the boat helps introduce them to marine and environmental science—a great way to spark scientific curiosity in the next generation of scientists.

UNH is in the process of constructing a new marine science classroom and laboratory facility in New Haven. The laboratory is designed to be a teaching platform and functioning wet-lab associated with aquaculture classes at UNH.

Known as the UNH Canal Dock Laboratory, it will have a floating dock system enabling DoAg’s vessel to work with students at the facility.