My name is Ciara Bongolan-Aquino and I’m very excited to be participating in Kilo Aina this semester!
I’m part of the Plankton Hui, so that means that for the past few weeks, my group and I have been spending our Thursday mornings doing plankton tows and bringing our little ocean buddies back to the lab to be identified.
The site that my group has been going to is Kapapapuhi Point Park. It’s a nice park with long paths for families to take a stroll on and wide grassy areas for the dogs to enjoy a nice run. There are also a couple of gazebos that the fishermen can relax under while waiting for their next catch.
The first time we went to do our plankton tow, it took around 45 minutes for us to familiarize ourselves with the tools and the process of towing. Over time, we started to become experts at doing plankton tows, so now we can finish within 25 minutes!
When we get to the lab and congregate all of the plankton we’ve collected into one cup, we collect qualitative and quantitative data. We record the types of plankton we find and count each individual plankton. It’s been very exciting finding new species each week! However, on days where there’s a high population within the different species, it can be very headache inducing trying to count the fast moving plankton. Thinking about all these little organisms swimming around in the water makes me never want to open my mouth while I’m swimming!
I’ve been able to identify cool organisms, such as flatworms, sponge larvae, and bivalve larvae. I look forward to going to Kapapapuhi Point Park and finding new things each week!