Foraminifera (forams) are dust-sized protists that live at the bottom of the ocean. These fossils are collected by drilling into the ocean floor. The Geology lab looks at fossilized forams and uses them to see the climate, and ocean acidity of different geologic time periods. Ocean acidification is when the ocean takes in fossil fuels such as carbon dioxide which change the pH levels of the water. When the ocean is more acidic, Foraminifera shells are thinner because they don’t have enough calcium carbonate to make strong shells.
This week we worked on making a research question for our research poster. We also learned how to bottle samples and arrange them onto trays. We also started an experiment to see how ocean acidification affects shells. We broke up oyster shells and put them in salt water with varying levels of acidity to see the differences. We're going to be monitoring these shells over the next few weeks. This week we also learned about earthquakes and how to read seismographs.