Living in an Alkaline Environment


This three-part activity will introduce you to Life in an alkaline environment, specifically that of Mono Lake, CA.

Student using proper safety procedures in the laboratory, Mono Lake, Dunaliella, Frontonia, Artemia monica, California Gull
From left to right: Mia Patterson uses proper safety procedures as she begins the activity (Image credit: David J. Patterson); Mono Lake (Image credit: Brett Leigh Dicks/microscope ); Dunaliella (Image Credit: David J. Patterson/microscope ); Frontonia (Image credit: David J. Patterson/microscope ); Artemia monica (Image credit: David J. Patterson/microscope ); California Gull (Image credit: National Park Service staff photo)


Complete each of the following activities as instructed by your teacher.
  • Part One: How different is Mono Lake water from distilled water? In this activity, you will observe the differences between Mono Lake (alkaline, hypersaline) water and distilled water.
  • Part Two: How does increasing alkalinity affect common soil bacteria? In this activity, you will test the effect of high pH on the survival of soil bacteria.
  • Part Three: A WebQuest exploring the life and ecology of Mono Lake. This activity will lead you on a web-based exploration of the life and ecology of Mono Lake. You will research organisms living in and around Mono Lake, and create field guide pages and a food web detailing the Mono Lake ecosystem.