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Submitted by mglater on Wed, 04/25/2018 - 16:38

We were interested in analyzing the water quality of the stream by the Sylvan residence halls. We found that the levels and diversity of periphyton found in the water could be used as a way to analyze the overall health of the water. Periphyton is a broad term, consisting of algae, cyanobacteria, and other microscopic organisms living in the water. We created a method to collect samples of periphyton by placing three glass slides together in the water. We placed these slides at three different locations in the stream, and collected samples after one week and after two weeks. We found that the levels of periphyton collected increased over the two weeks, and used the Shannon Index to quantify the diversity and abundance. We found that one of the three locations had a significantly higher number of total periphyton.