Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pisgah: Stream Investigation

I took the kiddos back to Pisgah for another Stream Investigation class.  They were excited about going back and conducting another investigation.  The weather was threatening and before the class, a massive rain storm hit.  Luckily, it stopped ten minutes before the class started.  Whew!

The class was a bit different this time than last summer.  That was a definite plus.  They were able to learn new things and I love that.

There were three parts to the investigation this go around.  1. Physical Assessment of the Stream  2. Abiotic Assessment of the Stream  3. Biotic Assessment of the Stream

Physical Assessment of the Stream -
The rangers gave each group a clip board with a rubric to score the attributes of the stream.  He lead the group to the bridge and discussed each criteria.  The group then decided upon the ranking to give to the stream.

After the physical assessment was complete, the rangers led the group upstream a distance and into the water.  They would conduct the remain assessments in the stream itself.

This guy was hanging out watching everyone go by.

Abiotic Assessment of the Stream -
The rangers had several hand held probes for the student to use for data collection.  He explained the purpose of each station and probe.  He explained in detail how to work the equipment and gather the data.  Each group collected their own data and rotated stations to use all the probes.  They all seemed to enjoy this method of data collection.

Once they finished collecting data on the stream, they began analyzing it.

Biotic Assessment of the Stream -
The kids remembered this part from last summer.  This was the fun part to find all the little critters in the water.  They picked up rocks and looked closely for larvae.  They used a kick net to stir up insects and larvae.  Everyone was busy trying to find critters.  After they collected their specimens, they had to use a dichotomous key to identify the organisms.  Then based upon what was found, they ranked the stream health.

The kiddos had a great time and learned more about what wildlife biologist do.  We will definitely be back again to participate!