Monitoring The Poultney River: A Service-Learning Project with the Poultney Mettowee Watershed Partnership
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Nov 5, 2004
- Fluvial processes of meandering streams
- Grain size variability in fluvial environments
- Interdisciplinary nature of geology/chemistry
- Stream surveying using a total station
- Stream gauging
- Grain size analysis
Higher Order Thinking Skills:
- Interpreting stream cross sections
- Interpreting Microsoft Excel plots
- Evaluating stream competency using field-data
- Writing site descriptions and drawing field sketches
- Learning to use high-resolution GPS unit
- Learning to use a Total Station
- Becoming more comfortable with graphing
- Group collaboration
- Rewards of community service
- Students must be comfortable with computers
- Students must be competent with Microsoft Excel
- Students must have been exposed to stream surveying
- Students must be familiar with concepts of GPS
- Students must have been exposed to stream gauging
Role of Activity in a Course:
Data, Tools and LogisticsRequired Tools:
- This exercise requires a total station (a Topcon GTS-212 was used for this lab). A transit would suffice, but fewer cross-sectional profiles will be obtained.
- This exercise requires a high-resolution GPS (a Trimble GEO XT with becon-on-a-belt and Pathfinder Office was used for this lab).
- This exercise requires a means of measuring stream/river discharge (an Ohio Digital Stream Flowmeter was used for this lab).
- This exercise also requires the standard equipment for measuring streamflow and cross-sectional profiles (e.g. - compass, tape measure, waders, rangefinder, calipers, etc).
- Steep learning curve for students in another course not familiar with surveying or GPS.
- Identifying a suitable community partner.
- Organizing schedules between two courses (hydrology and chemistry)
- Quality control between each successive class (e.g. - variations in students)
The students collected cross-sectional profiles, discharge measurements, average grain size data (pebble counts), sampling sketches, and site descriptions. These data were delivered to the PMWP at the end of spring 2004 and represent "year one" in the long-term monitoring project.
In addition, the students expressed increased interest and support of the laboratory exercise with the addition of a service-learning module.