Students collected data about potholes such as salinity, pH and temperature and predicted their effects on the biodiversity found within the pothole from day to day and year to year. They then caught fairy, clam, and tadpole shrimp and examined them with microscopes. Students compared their predictions with their results and speculated about effects of weather and human interactions on these tiny ecosystems.
Students also studied the symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae that is lichen. After examining the lichen with hand lenses and microscopes, the students used the scientific method to determine where lichen prefers to grow. They speculated that more lichen grows on North-facing slopes due to the cooler temperatures and a decrease in evaporation.
Canyon Country Outdoor Education (CCOE) program is a partnership between the National Park Service, Grand County School District and the Moab Charter School.