While I was volunteering at the Lucy Evan’s Nature Center, I had the pleasure of meeting Corinne DeBra. She was a huge supporter of my work and really pushed me to turn this volunteer opportunity into something larger. I fell in love with the plankton almost as soon as I discovered them swimming in a single drop of water under the microscope.
Because these creatures were so foreign to me, every time I went in I discovered something new. The abundance and diversity of these organisms was incredibly humbling. As far as I can tell, information on identifying and classifying plankton seems extremely sparse. In some ways, however, it made the whole experience a lot more exciting.
I did my best to take notes on behavior and appearance. Making sketches from a microscope is definitely a challenge. Especially when your subjects like to zoom in and out of the dirt and debris.
As I became more familiar with the organisms, I made a little infographic introducing the major groups. This was in part to clear things up for myself, and in part to try to explain this weird and wonderful world to visitors of the nature center.
Although I eventually had to leave the position, I came out of it with a whole new appreciation for plankton and a handful of neat spot illustrations. I also rekindled my love for polychaete worms and increased confusion about the classification we call protozoa. I’m hoping to revisit these illustrations and add a little bit more information to each group.