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Student Newsroom                                                                                                                                                                                         Volume 12

Re-Installing the Salinity Probe in the Marsh

This year, our seventh grade class has been learning about two main things in our science class. The first of which is heat and heat transfer, molecules inside of different substances, and how those molecules move and react because of heat. But the other thing we have been studying sort of on the side is the marsh! If you didn’t know already, a marsh is a type of wetland, an area of land where water covers ground for long periods of time. At certain after school nature programs and trips down to the library, some classes are able to go down there in the winter to go on the ice, some do activities down there, and some to just enjoy the beauty of the natural landscape that St. George School is lucky enough to be right next to. But our class has been beginning to learn about the creatures that live in the marsh, and the types of heat and heat transfer that can be demonstrated in the marsh. (This part has connected to the other work we have been doing in class). In fact, just recently our class went down to the marsh to place a salinity probe in the water that will help us learn about the differences in the salinity in the marsh. What’s a probe, you may ask? That is what I am here to talk about. 

The salinity probe that we placed in the water a week or so ago will help us track how the tides flow into the marsh. Back in the 1980s, the marsh used to be completely freshwater. Now, tides from the ocean flow through the culvert and into the marsh, changing the salinity in the marsh. In fact, the marsh also used to be four feet deeper than it is now, thanks to a beaver dam that sadly washed away in a storm in the mid 1990s. Now, thanks to the marsh being so much more shallow, we can wonder how the rising ocean and increasing number of tides flowing into the marsh will affect the surrounding plants and animals in the marsh. Using the salinity probe, we can see how much more salt is being carried into the marsh over time. We expect that this number should increase over the years due to climate change impacts of rising sea levels, and higher tides.

-Violet Bedell