A Living Laboratory

living lab (400 x 300)Gunston Biology and Environmental Science students have been getting their feet wet this fall. Gunston’s newly restored living shoreline has provided a living laboratory for investigating diversity, succession, and classification. Environmental Science students used seine nets to sample the biotic community and have found striped killifish, silver side minnows and several species of jellyfish. Honors Biology students evaluated the diversity, density, and frequency of plant species found on the restored shoreline.

Gunston faculty and students are involved in ongoing projects in our watershed. Maryland Grows Oysters has twelve baskets of juvenile oysters growing from the Molly Dock. Ernie Darling, Allison Vooris, Nathan Simmons, and Andy Camp helped distribute oysters along the Corsica River and hung the baskets at Gunston. These oysters will be added to oyster reefs being restored in the Chester and Corsica Rivers. Students monitor the oyster growth and shake sediment from the oyster cages. Gunston also assists the Chester River Association by monitoring the water quality of a local creek.