Showing posts from December, 2019

Alligators: A Conservation Success Story

Throughout this semester, I have revealed the impacts that the Everglades has withstood as the result of man. Here is a slightly more optimistic article about alligators, which are now thriving after successful conservation efforts! (NPS) Driving along the long, straight, roads through Everglades City, Florida, it’s difficult to miss the characteristically large, dark shape of an alligator sunning itself along the banks of the bordering wetlands. As an apex predator and keystone species, the relative abundance of this large reptile is not only a cherished sight for the many visitors who explore the Everglades annually, but a vital part of maintaining the delicate wetland ecosystem. Although now numbering in the millions, the American Alligator was once almost wiped out from it’s range in the Southeastern United States. It took the combined effort of conservationists and federal/state governments to guarantee the future of this remarkable species for generations to come.  Wit

The Glades!

I plan to use this blog if I ever decide to move to Everglades City, for educational purposes. As my current career path is environmental education, the colourful graphics and interesting animal facts presented in the slides presentations would translate well into a classroom. The tools I am now quite familiar with will be transferable to any national park I move to. I may also use some of the information if my schooling covers South Florida again. Overall I learned a lot about the impact of people on this beautiful national park, and what we can do to prevent the Glades from further damage. I will continue to update this blog with other coursework, so I may use it to find notes and essays I have written in the future.

Flood Plains and Soil Composition of the Everglades

(Web Soil Survey) The map above shows a targeted section of the Everglades on the outskirts of the city of Miami. The majority of the land here has yet to be analyzed, however, the orange section that has been analyzed is mostly rock outcrops in marshland, with very little salinity and poor drainage. I chose this section to see whether being close to Miami would have a negative impact on this section of the Everglades. Overall, it seems like the toxins of the city are not causing drastic environmental deficiencies, as only a small percentage (0.3%) has high pesticide runoff potential. All of the soil is listed in a capability class that bans cultivation due to conservation purposes. This does not include the potential risk for the spread of invasive species however, which stem from urbanized areas. (NPS) Historically (left), the floodplain of the Everglades was much more expansive. As previously discussed, however, the flow of water has been severely limited by dikes, levee

Data Logging

Datalogging Water Characteristics Dataloggers are one way that experts can capture data from a given watershed. Dataloggers depend on a variety of sensors, which acquire data for a variety of factors, such as depth, temperature, flow rate, oxygen levels, turbidity, pH, and more. Here are some examples of sensors that may be used to determine the health of an aquatic ecosystem: Wisconsin Plankton Net: A Wisconsin plankton net is a 30" long net with a 5" diameter mouth used for collecting biological samples of plankton. It collects samples vertically for analysis. Composite Water Sampler: A water sampler can take anywhere between 25 and 600ml of water, storing in inside of an internal jug. It also has a backwash system to clear the system of debris between automatic samples. Secchi Disk Ideal for turbidity (water clarity), taking the average mean of two samples. Van Dorn Sampling Bottle A Van Dorn sampling bottle can test for temperature, chemical composition