Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 21 Issue 03

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Volume 21, No. 3
Pages 98 - 106


HANDS-ON OCEANOGRAPHY • Assessing the Importance of Sand as a Source of Fecal Indicator Bacteria (Escherichia coli and Enterococcus)

Karen L. Knee | Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, and Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Rose L. Leopold and Ella R. Madsen are middle school students, Pacific Collegiate School, Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Adina Paytan | Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, USA

First Paragraph

The purpose of this activity is for students to investigate water quality, and the factors that affect it, at a local beach. This is accomplished by (1) measuring concentrations of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus, two types of bacteria commonly used as fecal indicators, in water and sand samples from a local beach; (2) interpreting the collected data with graphs, tables, and statistical tests; and (3) investigating the relationship between concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and other factors such as sampling location, distance from the shoreline, and grain size of sand. 


Knee, K.L., R.L. Leopold, E.R. Madsen, and A. Paytan. 2008. Hands-on oceanography: Assessing the importance of sand as a source of fecal indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli and Enterococcus). Oceanography 21(3):98–106, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2008.44.

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