This week brought River Science into the classroom. Mike Ekberg from the Miami Conservancy District spoke to the students about Dayton’s greatest assets including our aquifer, watershed, and rivers. Mike provided the students with analogies to help them understand how these systems work. Next, Dr. Jeff Kavanaugh of UD’s Biology Department spoke to the students about water quality, how to test it, as well as a case study of the Chicago River. These topics coincided with the readings the students completed on ecology of rivers, regulatory biology, the Clean Water Act, Biological Criteria, and water resources of Montgomery County. These two presentations were a great introduction to things the students saw on their Saturday field trip where they kayaked down the Mad River, and tested the water quality by sampling macroinvertebrates and fish shocking. Tying this information together, we asked the students to tell us about their hometown watersheds. Led by Sr. Leanne Jablosnki FMI, the class discussed what they already knew about their hometown watersheds. The students were then challenged to do further research on any unique characteristics or problems their watershed may have. We wanted the students to think back to ways that they may have identified with their watershed in the past and how it may be similar or different to Dayton’s watershed. After the paddle on Saturday many students made connections between their hometown watershed and things they saw on the paddle.
This week built on the students’ knowledge of Dayton and its watershed. Dr. Sarah Hippensteel Hall of the Miami Conservancy District and Greater Dayton Partners for the Environment spoke to the students about human impact on watersheds. She concentrated on the issues that the Dayton region faces. This presentation helped many of the students begin to think about possible project proposals. Next, Felicia Graham of the City of Dayton’s Water Department spoke to the students about how the city manages water. Her colleagues also brought a truck and other equipment that they use to inspect pipes throughout the city. This class gave the students a great explanation of how professionals manage and protect the water that we use but also what people individually can do to protect our water resources. Introducing these ideas benefited the field trip as the students were able to see outfalls from water treatment plants.
Below are pictures from the Saturday Field Trip.