A polychaete worm, an unusual but not uncommon find.
Students sieving marsh mud to create a microscope sample.
A table, sieves and microscopes: what students see when they enter the Mud Lab.
In the Mud Lab (the name of the room and of the activity), the students are able to take a mud sample that they collected and extract the plankton from using sieves. Once the mud has been sieved and the plankton have been strained out and collected, students can look at them under a dissecting microscope. We typically see nematodes, oligochaete worms, diatoms, and copepods. Like everything else here at the shoreline, there is variation in the plankton depending on the season and the tide.
For most students (and adults), this is the first time they have ever seen plankton up close and personal!