Handling Living Organisms
Experimentation should maximize learning and minimize impact on the ecosystem being studied. Collecting should maximize knowledge and minimize damage to plants or animals by collecting only leaf samples and returning all collected animals to the area unharmed.
Some participants may be accustomed to killing invertebrates on site, anticipate this before heading outdoors and explain that accurate collecting and observing involves minimal damage to the site. It is essential that organisms be handled in a way that allows them to be ultimately returned to the habitat relatively unharmed. Squeamish participants can effectively partake in safe collection without direct contact with organisms by using the bags, index cards, and cups.
Avoid overheating organism:
While a sealed zip bag or cup has plenty of oxygen for these small organisms for the day, exposure to direct sun can quickly heat the air inside and harm the organisms. Thus make sure containers with organisms are in the shade at all times.