Learning About Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems
The N.H. Fish and Game Department’s Watershed Education Program allows students to become citizen scientists who study and work to improve aquatic habitats in their communities.
Monitoring Water Quality
Students start by visiting a local waterbody to collect water samples and measure dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, turbidity, and conductivity. They also collect and classify macroinvertebrates. They use this chemical and biological data to determine the water quality.
Students then explore their watershed by using Geographic Information System (GIS) maps. They import local data about their own watersheds, use Global Positioning System (GPS) units to locate their water quality testing sites, post water quality and macroinvertebrate data on the maps, and share that data with their local community and other watershed schools. In the process, they begin to see how human activities may impact the watershed.
Trout in the Classroom
As an extension of studying the river, students can raise trout eggs in the classroom through the Trout in the Classroom program. Or they can study fish behavior with a warmwater fish tank.
The Watershed Education Program also allows students to become fisheries biologists for a day to study the aquatic resources of a river. Working with N.H. Fish and Game staff, students experience fish sampling techniques; perform a habitat assessment; and collect, identify, and measure freshwater fish.
For more information on signing up for the Watershed Education Program at your school, contact Kayla Croteau at (603) 271-0456 or [email protected].