WHAT IS IT
The PONAR sampler is named after Great Lakes scientists, Charles E. Powers, Robert A. Ogle, Jr., Vincent E. Noble, John C. Ayers, and Andrew Robertson.
The PONAR consists of two opposing semi-circular jaws that are normally held open by a trigger mechanism.
HOW IS IT USED
The PONAR is lowered until it touches the lake bottom which triggers a strong spring that snaps the jaws shut trapping a sample of the bottom inside.
When a successful PONAR grab sample is brought aboard, the sampler is lowered into a plastic box and the contents of the grab are dumped inside. The sample is then filtered with a sieve and stored for further study in the lab.
WHY IS IT USED
The PONAR is an effective way to grab samples of the lake bottom which consist of quagga mussels, sediment and in some cases rocks.
By analyzing the sediment from the PONAR grab, researchers can determine the amount of certain nutrients in the sediment and analyze the organisms, such as quagga mussels that live on the lake bottom.