FLI Research Scientist Dr. Susan Cushman instructs teachers
as part of a stream monitoring teacher training program.
The Finger Lakes Regional Stream Monitoring Program seeks to train local schoolteachers in conveying to their students the fundamental importance and value in studying local streams as well as teaching the methodology and techniques of stream monitoring as a part of their curriculum. The integration of local schools into the field of volunteer monitoring allows for students to be actively involved in the assessment of their regional streams and facilitates a higher level of environmental awareness in their own lives and in their community. The goals of this project is to 1) design protocols for stream sampling; 2) develop training materials for the teachers; and 3) conduct preliminary assessments of a select subset of local streams being incorporated into the program. Protocols combine accepted methodologies from the NY Department of Conservation and Hudson Basin River Watch.
About The Finger Lakes Stream Monitoring Program:
The Finger Lakes Stream Monitoring Network program involves three protocols that together assess environmental conditions and overall stream health. The protocols include benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, chemical analysis of the stream water, and a physical assessment of the stream banks, bottom substrate, and surrounding terrestrial conditions (riparian zone and land use). The combination of these three protocols provide an excellent survey of the potential impacts to the stream ecosystem and allow students and teachers to learn more about the abiotic and biotic aspects of this complex environment. The program uses a two-tiered approach to allow schools to match their desired level of involvement with educational needs of their classroom. Finally, the program implements a database to which all data collected by school groups may be uploaded. Local science teachers and stream ecologists will be able to access this database and use its contents to further their own study and understand potential impacts as well as changes to stream health. Funding through Time Warner Cable - Connect a Million Minds intuitive allows FLI to provide fully stocked stream kits containing ready to use equipment as well as field trip funding for schools. Furthermore, in-field assistance is also available if needed.
How to Sign up:
Teachers must first complete a daylong training session to acquaint themselves with the Stream Monitoring Program and the equipment. The Finger Lakes institute hosts two training sessions annually on Saturdays in the fall and in the spring. During the training, teachers experience the full range of scientific tests and equipment available to them. After the training teachers will be qualified to take their own students into the field for a great outdoor educational experience.
Stream Monitoring Training Video:
Stream Monitoring Program Project Coordinator