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Our Research Equipment and Capabilities

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Salish has a wide variety of oceanographic research equipment available for students. The equipment is the same equipment used by oceanographers and marine scientists.

Salish has a wide variety of oceanographic research equipment available for students.  The equipment is the same equipment used by oceanographers and marine scientists. 

Water Quality Monitoring:



Phosphate, Nitrate, and Silicate test kits: Measures the amount of nutrients in the water column. Nutrients can be an indication of organic pollution (fertilizers, sewage), that can lead to harmful plankton blooms.

Dissolved Oxygen probe: Continuously measures dissolved oxygen (DO) throughout the water column to 50ft. These vertical transects give a good indication of biological activity. 

Refractometer: Measures salinity of a water sample using a drop of water and light refraction.

Salinity/Conductivity/Temperature probe:  Measures salinity and temperature throughout the water column to 50ft. These vertical transects will give a good indication of mixing, density, fresh water run off sources, etc.

Fecal Coliform plates: Used to estimate bacteria counts, indicative of human sewage pollution.

Niskin Bottle: Used to collect water samples from discrete depths, which are then chemically analyzed. Usually we collect 2-3 samples in one water column, at various depths, and analyze them to see differences between surface and deep water.

Secchi Disk: Used to estimate the transparency of seawater, and can provide a relative measure of productivity or turbidity.

Sonde:  Used to measure salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen and depth every second as it descends into the water column.

Biological and Sediment Monitoring:



Phytoplankton net :  This 63 micrometer mesh net collects the smallest plankton, which are then easily analyzed under the compound scope. Studies focus on diversity and types of plankton.

Zooplankton net:  This 120 micrometer mesh net collects animal plankton, allowing phytoplankton to pass through the larger mesh.  Studies focus on diversity and types.

Neuston net : This 333 micrometer mesh surface water net enables us to tow for the larger Neuston Net zooplankton, readily visible under the dissecting scope. Students are able to perform qualitative and a quantitative analyses of zooplankton density and diversity.

Fluormeter: This digital, hand held device allows students to consider plankton density throughout the water.

Ponar Grab: This sediment sampling device can be deployed to 30-40 feet and collects a few pints of sediment. The sediment is analyzed for grain size composition (sorted, fine, course), which indicates current levels and mixing at depth. Sediment is also sieved for biotic composition (shells, worms, etc). 

Eckman Dredge: This sediment sampling device is lighter weight and more easily deployed for multiple sample requirements.

Dip net: Used to scoop up cool floaties off of the side of the vessel.

Dissecting and Compound microscopes: Used to analyze plankton and sediments.

Scope-On-A-Rope:  Handheld microscope that is applied to the sample and viewed through the lap top computer screen. 

Fisheye Underwater camera: Camera can deploy off of the side of the vessel, docks etc. for creatures when visibility allows.

Beach seine net: Coarser mesh net for intertidal investigations, comparative studies between shallow and deep water.

Hydrometer:  A tool used to measure the density of salt water.


*Please note: If equipment listed does not cover the students' needs, we can usually arrange to borrow or rent equipment for your expedition.

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