Author Archives: Bill Zoellick

How CTTM Data Are Organized

Students collect CTTM data about buildings, taps, water chemistry and water quality using paper worksheets. They use different dataheets for different kinds of data. This post explains how the different datasheets relate to each other and will help teachers in organizing and overseeing the students’ work as they enter data.…

photo of public water system facilities

Public Water Systems in Maine

Maine is a rural state. Rather than having a few big city water systems, Mainers get their water from many small and mid-sized public systems in addition to private wells. In this post we provide information about the different kinds of public water systems that students will need as they map drinking water quality.…

Plant pot with net collar

Setting Up and Deploying the Plastic Plant Pot Experiment

This post provides detailed instructions about how to set out the plastic plant pot experiments that are at the heart of work that students do in CSI-Maine. It provides a list of materials and tells you what to do with them.  If any of this is confusing or seems to leave something, please tell us by leaving a reply using the link at the top of the post, right below the title.…

2018 Gouldsboro experimental sites

2018 Gouldsboro Study – Part 1 – The Experiments

During 2018 the Gouldsboro shellfish committee and the CSI-Maine project set out “experimental units” — our “plant pot” experiments — in two coves that were once productive but had become so overrun by crabs that they were considered to be “dead mud.” In the spring of 2019, a team of students in the Pathways program at Sumner Memorial High School analyzed the data so that they could be presented to the shellfish committee and others on March 20.  In this post we describe the design of the experiments and the coves where they were set out.…

Making Tuva Files Available to Students

In this post, we show you how to make a dataset that you uploaded to Tuva available to students for their own exploration and use. We will work with the Boothbay Harbor sea surface temperature (SST) dataset that we uploaded in an earlier “how to” post. We also illustrate a few of the many things you can do with Tuva, including “filtering” the data so that you only see a part of the data.  We will also show you how to change the range of the axes on a graph and how to save a particular graph for future use.…

Loading a First Dataset into Tuva

Graph of sea surface temperature change in Boothbay HarborGood tools make it simpler for students to explore data visually.  One good tool is a data manipulation and graphing package called “Tuva” that is available from Tuva Labs.  An alternative to Tuva called CODAP (Common Online Data Analysis Platform), created by the Concord Consortium. CSI-Maine teachers will want to use one of these tools so that students can easily use graphs to explore questions about what is going on with climate, crabs, and clams.  In this post, we show you how to get started with Tuva. …

Sumner Memorial High School student presenting findings at the Maine Fishermen's Forum, March 2018

The Shellfish Project Over the School Year

The way that CSI-Maine fits into the school year strongly influenced by the clam lifecycle. Clams grow over the summer, which means that teachers and students set out their experiments in the spring and collect data in the fall. This is a nice fit to the school year in many ways. It provides an opportunity to get the new school year off to a strong start with a highly engaging outdoor activity and gives teachers and students the winter months to analyze data, prepare presentations to shellfish committees and others, and make plans for the next season’s work.…

European Green Crab

The Green Crab Lifecycle

The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) arrived in the New York and New Jersey ports in the early 1800s, spread to Casco Bay by the 1890s, and continued to spread northward to Downeast Maine and the Bay of Fundy over the twentieth century (Fulton et al., 2013).  It is a voracious predator, but until recently the crab’s numbers in Maine were kept in check by cold winters. That was enough to make it possible for softshell clams to continue to thrive even though green crabs were eating them.