Clockwise from upper left: Citizen Scientist, Chuck Madansky, tosses out a net to collect pond water at Cliff Pond and pours it into water sample container. Back at the lab:(right) The cyanoscope ZAPPRS concentrate the water sample's cyanobacteria at the top of the device and (left) the fluorometer attached to a digital microscope measures each sample's amount of cyanobacteria in relation to other phytoplankton in the water.
"The impact of this year's Citizen Scientists program shows that people are willing to spend time doing sampling and care about water quality in town."
--Karen Malkus-Benjamin, BPC Citizen Scientists program lead
Cyanobacteria form blooms in ponds that may release biotoxins that can cause skin rashes upon contact and serious illness when ingested in contaminated pond water.
BPC Citizen Scientists tests Brewster ponds for cyanobacteria, alerting local officials about blooms & contributing to cutting-edge research that predict blooms & to estimate their toxin levels.
The 2018 Citizen Scientist volunteers are involved in testing ten ponds for cyanobacteria, either on their own or in partnership with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC).
- Water sample collection and analysis preparation by Citizen Scientists at a Brewster pond.
- Sample processed to determine amount and toxicity of cyanobacteria in the pond water. either at a volunteer's home testing area or municipal lab.
- Notification of health officials, if needed, of the presence of toxic cyanobacteria in the ponds to issue public warning.
- Samples and testing results shared with researchers, Dr. Nancy Leland at Lim-Tex and Dr. Jim Haney at University of New Hampshire.
- Presentation of predictive cyanobacteria modeling research by Dr. Haney at the Cape Coastal Conference in December 2018, to help local official identify potential blooms early on.
Your support equips and expands the 2019 program:
- Supplies to Collect Water Samples: Funding for supplies like water collection nets, water sample vials, and microscope slides.
- Lab Equipment to Analyze Results Locally: Investment in new lab equipment like cyanoscopes, fluorometers, and digital microscope interfaces.
- More ponds tested in 2019: More equipment enables more volunteers to test more ponds.
- Expanded monitoring in 2019: New tests will collect air samples to monitor aerosols produced by cyanobacteria.
Please renew your membership to support the Citizen Scientists and other BPC Programs.
It's easy! Press the button below or visit: brewsterponds.org/join--donate
Thank You For Your Support!