Science students assess the health of Milford’s Mondo Pond

Advanced Placement/ECE UConn environmental science teacher April Kelley recently accompanied 29 students to Milford’s Mondo Pond for an environmental assay survey. The students spent two hours surveying the environmental conditions of the pond and its surrounding habitat. Mrs. Kelley has been taking her students on this annual field trip for several years, allowing the Lauralton Science Department to monitor the overall progressive health of the pond.

Students studied dissolved oxygen levels, fecal bacterial counts, water quality (pH, nitrate and phosphate levels), dissolved carbon dioxide levels, turbidity, and species diversity. After the field studies were completed, students returned to the science lab to analyze their data. After comparing the results of all the individual tests, the students determined that the overall health of the pond system was poor/fair in terms of species diversity with acceptable pollution levels. The survey results will remain on file in the AP environmental science classroom so that future classes can compare their results to previous years. This will allow the science department to note any changes occurring over time and determine the long-term health of this local ecosystem. In addition, results will be posted on the Global Water Project database so students can compare the health of this local pond with the health of ponds in similar regions.

In comparing this year’s assay results to previous years, students found that the health of the pond, which had been improving slowly over the last five years, has experienced a slight decline.

Click to view the video of this survey excursion.


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