Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Holidays from the EcoCenter

It is pretty quiet at the EcoCenter these days. Since elementary through college students are on break, there haven't been any programs held at the facility.  Welcome rains have nearly filled our rainwater harvesting tanks but keep the battery storage system below 100% charge. So it is perfect timing that not much is going on these days.  Events will be back in full swing and CCSF students return the the week of January 14th. Until then, we wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year.  Come see us and have a look around Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10 am to 3 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm in 2013!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

CCSF Sust 91 Presentation of Learning and Lunch

Today CCSF Sust 91 students and volunteers gathered one last time this semester to share their work and experiences with Wendy Brummer, LEJ Board Member and Ellen O'dea, LEJ Finance Manager.  Lunch was vegetarian pizza from Goat Hill along with salad and pasta prepared by Julia (also known as JET).  After lunch, each student talked about what they worked and what they got out of their experience at the EcoCenter this semester. Also, great to know that most will be coming back in the spring.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pond Critters Arrive at the EcoCenter

22 different common pond organisms found a new home in the acrylic tanks and constructed wetland at the EcoCenter this week.  When the system was installed, only snails from another treatment system and rosy red minnows from the aquarium store were added.  Generally, pond sediment rich in organisms are used to seed a new onsite wastewater treatment system such as ours.  This past semester, CCSF students worked with me to research common native pond organisms that could make a more complete food web and help better facilitate the breakdown and absorption of nutrients in the WWTS's effluent.  We also had to chose those that would be readily available from biological supply companies. Several species of algae and cynanobacteria including spirogyra and nostic were added to the acrylic tanks as well as several species of protozoans including paramecium, euglena, vorticella, and amoeba.  Tiny animals such as rotifers, gastrotrichs, and water bears along with crustaceans daphnia, ostracods, and amphipods also were also added.  The fish were more active than ever and had a feeding frenzy. Hopefully some of the organisms managed to survive and will reproduce.  We plan to acquire more critters in the Spring semester and culture them onsite at the EcoCenter so we can continually seed the acrylic tanks and use them to create slides and share with visitors to the facility.  Below are a few photos taken by CCSF student Tom Nguyen. Tom also started shooting videos of the organisms that will be uploaded to the Sust 91 website shortly.