Organisms from Caltech Turtle Pond

The photo shows what the water in the Caltech Turtle Pond looks like under the Foldoscope lens. The water sample was collected using a plastic drinking cup at approximately 7:30pm on Tuesday 4/9/19 from Caltech’s Turtle Pond. A small portion of the water sample was then transferred from the plastic cup to the glass microscope slides via disposable pipette. The photo was taken using a cell phone.

The circled objects were initially classified as some sort of bacteria (domain: Bacteria). However, upon further observation, the objects did not seem to move or swim on their own accord, so perhaps they are pollen from a nearby plant (domain: Eukaryote).

Some follow-up questions: (1.) We could better determine what organism we were seeing under the Foldoscope if there was an accurate way to measure the size of the organisms. How could we go about getting these measurements? (2.) How could we improve the quality of photos being taken?

Potential answers: (1.) We could try and use the scale/ruler lines on the Foldoscope and compare it to known organisms viewed under the Foldoscope to try and get an accurate estimation of size. (2.) We should use the magnetic coupler in order to ensure alignment between the phone camera and the Foldoscope lens.


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