On September 25th, 2014, the Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD) hosted a RACC/NEWRnet Water Quality Workshop at Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington, VT. There were >250 seventh and eighth grade students with their 3 science teachers: Kate Jesdale, Michelle Cullen, and Kathy Willey. Students worked in small groups to collect field data, make observations on the biotic/abiotic habitat, and learn how scientists use technology to answer regional and local biogeochemical questions related to climate change and land use.
Dr. Declan McCabe and Katie Chang from Saint Michael's College assisted in the collection of macroinvertebrates from the local stream and marsh. Research Technician from Johnson State College, Saul Blocher, and RACC graduate student, Trevor Gearhart, helped students pick through the samples to identify species of interest. NEWRnet research technician, Allison Jerram, and NEWRnet graduate student, Matt Vaughan, demonstrated how they use high-tech sensors in streams to measure various indicators of water quality.
Students are currently working in the classroom to count and identify the macroinvertebrates collected. They will learn how to use various metrics to analyze their macroinvertebrate data - looking specifically at biodiversity, species of interest, and comparing sampling sites for levels of pollution. All students will present their results at a school-wide poster walk on October 15th.
Thanks to everyone involved - it was a great day!