NCSCE Photo Contest Runner Up: Studying Erosion and Agricultural Runoff

In a previous issue of our eNews, we featured the winner of NCSCE photo contest based on the theme of students engaged in active learning. As mentioned in that story, we received a lot of excellent submissions, leading to a very competitive voting process. Now, we’re sharing the top runners up with the community.


Today, we’re featuring two photographs submitted by LaRoy Brandt of Lincoln Memorial University. As part of their SENCER-ISE project, Springdale Elementary School from Tazewell, TN learn about stream erosion using stream tables that were constructed by Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Conservation and Wildlife Biology Students. The stream tables are essentially an elongated, shallow, sand with a water reservoir elevated on one end. After a brief lecture by LMU students about erosion, the Springdale students were provided an opportunity to create an artificial landscape in their stream table and study the effects of erosion and agricultural runoff on the environment. Once the artificial steam was created, drops of food coloring to provide further visual emphasis as students watch first-hand how water moved through their system. Ultimately, it became clear how substances end up in the ground water system and then finally in the ocean. The picture was taken by Nikki Lockhart, LMU photographer and public relations representative.


Lincoln Memorial University Conservation and Wildlife Biology students conduct a Winkler titration to measure the dissolved oxygen in the Powell River. Photo by LaRoy Brandt.

In the second photo, taken by LaRoy Brandt, Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Conservation and Wildlife Biology students, Amanda Schlegel (left) and Maggie Singleton (right), conduct a Winkler titration to measure the dissolved oxygen in the Powell River near Harrogate, TN as part of a field experience in their invertebrate zoology class. This region of southern Appalachia provides ample opportunity for students to learn about human impacts on the environment as we have a number of watersheds that have history of mountain top removal coal mining. For this particular bio-monitoring project, students were asked to compare a watershed that contains active mining with one that does not. At the location in the photo, students found the stream to be quite healthy as the water chemistry was within healthy ranges and the marco-invertebrate biodiversity was high.


Thank you again to all of you who took the time to send in photos that communicate the student experience in SENCER courses!

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