Lake Profiles

The Floating Classroom offers two options for collecting physical and chemical water quality data at specific depths from Cayuga Lake.  For most groups, our manually-operated Van Dorn samplers are perfect to encourage teamwork and direct collection and measurement of water samples.  For more advanced classes, we offer the use of a remote sensor (HydroLab sonde).  Field parameters may include:

    Level 1- Depth, Temperature, pH

    Level 2- Dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity,

    Level 3- Alkalinity, carbon dioxide & chlorophyll.

Our goal for most cruises, each research team will collect one or more depth-specific samples, and the results will be combined to create a LAKE PROFILE or a range from the surface to the hypolimnion.  This information is directly related to the biological (plankton) and clarity/solar energy penetration (Secchi Disk) observations made at other stations during a cruise. 

How to use the Van Dorn sampler

If you want to measure the chemical and physical properties of water at a specific depth under the water's surface (e.g. pH, temperature, etc), it helps to be able to grab a sample of water at that depth! That's where the Van Dorn sampler comes in. Check out this video to learn how to use a Van Dorn sampler!

Extension Applications

  • Analysis of the thermocline
  • Lake turnover
  • Heat storage and release from the lake (creating a micro-climate)
  • Energy and nutrient distribution as a function of water density
  • Generation and interpretation of graphed data.