Eye-to-Eye with a Cyclops

Kelley Hema, freshman Environmental Earth Sciences major, peers into a slightly cloudy water sample, keeping an eye out for Cyclops copepods collected from a plankton tow on Carter Lake southwest of Loveland, Colo. The appropriately named zooplankton have one red eye spot. Hema and nine other students joined Professor of Earth Sciences Bill Hoyt and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences Joe Elkins at the lake as part of OCN 301, Physical and Chemical Oceanography. They worked together to come up with different properties to measure and investigate, gathering water and sediment samples at varying depths.

“The purpose of the class is to give students hands-on experience investigating water quality and other water properties in the lakes and reservoirs of Colorado,” says Hoyt. “The projects and concepts in class and lab settings consider physical, chemical, geological and biological properties of lakes. Many of those processes and all of the equipment and measurements are the same as we would do in the ocean.”