Adventure Ecology Continues: Getting Buggy with It! A Microscopic Tour of the Squam Watershed

Join us on Saturday, November 18th from 10 AM to 12 PM to learn about microscopic critters in the Squam watershed! Participants will learn one of the methods scientists use to assess aquatic systems by learning to identify different microorganisms found in our NH lakes and streams! Ages 12 and up are welcome.

Participants will meet at the headquarters of the SLA, located at 534 US Rt. 3 in Holderness. Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) member Erin Shilling will begin the program by leading a lesson about the types of organisms that live in freshwater, and how we are able to use these organisms to determine the health of streams and lakes. Participants will learn about lake and river ecology, collect water samples from Piper Cove, and spend time looking at the samples under a microscope to see what can be found. Erin will have additional water samples from other regional lakes and streams for comparison.

Identifying different insects and larvae in water samples is an easy way to begin understanding how a lake or river functions. Different types of insect larva and small, adult insects have varying tolerance levels for pollution in aquatic systems. Through this trait, different insects are considered “indicators” of water quality based on how much pollution they are known to tolerate. This is a simple way to see how aquatic systems in the region compare, and how pollution is (or is not) affecting water quality.

The program will be interactive, relaxed, and informative. The main goal is to help participants gain an appreciation for the microscopic processes going on in lakes and streams in the region that they might not normally consider, let alone be able to see. Hope to see you there!

For more information, or to sign up for this Adventure Ecology Program, visit the SLA website (squamlakes.org) or contact the SLA directly (603-968-7336). The SLA also offers other Adventure Ecology trips throughout the year. In the off-season, programs run every Tuesday and Saturday. The Adventure Ecology programs are presented by members of the Lakes Region Conservation Corps, a new AmeriCorps program run by the Squam Lakes Association that develops leaders in the conservation field as they work to conserve the Squam watershed.