Written by Claire Gabel (Watershed Intern)
Last week students working on the Watershed project helped with the extraction process of the chlorophyll-a protocol. Chlorophyll-a is produced by algae and other photosynthesizing organisms. Extracting it from our samples can indicate how much algae is present in the water. High algal growth often indicates high levels of nutrients, such as nitrogen or phosphorus. Fertilizer runoff is a major contributor to high nutrient levels in the water.
Both the Watershed and Oceanography groups collect water samples to test for chlorophyll-a, and run the samples through microfiber filters back in the lab. The filters are wrapped in tin foil to prevent light from affecting the sample, until the extraction process is run. Check out the video below, which shows all the steps of the extraction!