MAY 20, 2015
BY CLAUDIO SANCHEZ
To get a really good sense of why Caroline Solomon is a great teacher, you have to go into the field with her. On this particular morning, that means a boat on the Anacostia River.
We’re about 4 miles from the campus of Gallaudet University, where Solomon is a professor of biology. She and a student — Anna McCall — are heading in a small boat to take water samples.
The Anacostia is no more than 8 miles long, but it meanders through and around Washington, D.C., past a naval yard, a golf course and I-95, the busiest interstate highway on the Eastern Seaboard.
For months now, Solomon and her students have been dropping probes testing for oxygen, salinity and chlorophyll. It’s data that help gauge the river’s health, which is not very good right now, Solomon says.
“I know what’s in this river,” she says, laughing. Her voice is audible as she speaks with us, but she communicates with students in sign language.