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by Anne Gasc, Ph.D., manager OI Analytical Services Laboratory

 

The water confined in an aquarium is definitely the best model of what could happen if our oceans became unbalanced. Unfortunately, many fish in the world end up being the sole indicators of water-quality degradation, only because their friendly owners remain clueless about it. This is not only the case for tiny aquariums but sometimes also for aquaculture farms or even coastal environments. While anybody can make mistakes, the role of a scientist is to limit possible disasters by learning from errors, increasing knowledge about the factors involved, and teaching the lessons learned to the new generations.

The aquaculture course offered by HPU affiliate Oceanic Institute not only reveals the secrets of 40 years of expertise in research applied to responsible aquaculture, but also teaches the fundamental basics of water quality. From a large overview of atoms, water molecular states, and nitrogen and phosphorus cycles to the demonstration of the more user-friendly nature of the metric system, these lectures prepare the students to probe and monitor various environments from natural to man-made ecosystems.

The next step, to improve technical knowledge and to get hands-on specific methodologies, is obviously an internship at Oceanic Institute’s Analytical Service Laboratory. With more than 25 water quality parameters, basic proximate analyses, and essential microbiology indicators of healthy biotopes, ASL offers a complete asset of crucial water quality measurements. Results are reported for ongoing interdepartmental experiments, specific external studies, or environmental monitoring and expertise assessments.

For internship opportunities, contact Gary Karr, director of communications and education, at 259-3146.

 

 

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