The Student Watershed Watch began in 1989 with a handful of classrooms. Since that time thousands of students from middle school to senior high have participated in this unique program of water sampling and testing, field work, data analysis, and reporting.*
The 2019 testing day is October 3. Hundreds of students will be out in waterways collecting samples and testing for turbidity, dissolved oxygen, acidity, and the amount of nutrients (nitrates and phosphorus). They will also collect macroinvertebrates from the stream bed. The quantity and type of larvae and bugs are an indicator of the relative health of the waterway.
On November 8, many of these students will gather at the Toledo Zoo for the Student Summit. They will present their findings to their peers, share table top displays, and hear from people with careers in environmental fields.
Photo courtesy of Autumn Beaudoin
Sara Mierzwiak participated in stream testing on the Ottawa River as a Woodward High School student several years ago. Her teacher was Tim Bollin, a long time SWW teacher participant. She says, “This experience absolutely directed my career.” Mierzwiak spent nearly 10 years as a hydrogeologist and then returned to grad school to pursue a PhD in Education. She now educates teachers in hands-on science programs.
Tim Bollin taught Sara at Woodward High School.
He is now a science teacher at Toledo Early College High School.
*TMACOG is looking for graduates of the Student Watershed Watch to document our historical record. If you participated as a student, please contact Mary Pat McCarthy, TMACOG marketing and public information manager, at 419.241.9155, ext. 1106.