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Workshop 1 - Rebecca North

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North Central Region One Water Action Forum

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Workshop 1 - Rebecca North

  1. 1. Reservoir Observer Student Scientists Filling the gap of shoulder season limnology Rebecca L North Assistant Professor of Water Quality School of Natural Resources University of Missouri
  2. 2. Citizen Science
  3. 3. Apps • Bloomwatch – Tracking cyanobacteria blooms • Lake Observer – To facilitate data sharing of lake and water info • Great Lakes Early Detection Network – For identifying invasive species – LOTS of photos
  4. 4. THE LAKES OF MISSOURI VOLUNTEER PROGRAM WWW.LMVP.ORG
  5. 5. • 60 Reservoirs • 105 Sample Sites • ~135 Active Volunteers 2018 Monitoring Sites Since 1992 • 111 Reservoirs • 257 Sites • Over 15,000 monitoring visits
  6. 6. -Season runs year-round -Sample every week -Fifty-two samples per season
  7. 7. Jan DecMarch July Aug Sept Oct NovFeb Apr May June
  8. 8. Objectives of ROSS Research Questions: 1. Quantify Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) and algal-toxins through the whole year (including winter and shoulder seasons). 2. How do CyanoHABs and toxin production relate to physical, chemical, and biological parameters? Through a partnership between high school students and their teachers, extension representatives, and the MU Limnology Lab, the ROSS Program seeks to engage youth to assess the year-round presence and severity of CyanoHABs and their associated toxins
  9. 9. Training of students that will become future decision makers and regulators • Actively engage students in student-centered, inquiry-based, and project-based learning experiences • Student pre- and post-activity surveys to determine if there was a significant change after participating in the program • Designed to assess the student’s knowledge, self-efficacy, attitudes and behavior about water quality and limnology
  10. 10. Formative Evaluation • Race, gender, and ethnicity all had an effect on self-reported action. • Students who identified as non-white or Hispanic were more likely to identify lower on the Likert scale in self-efficacy for attitude and action. • In future years, reach out to students who have graduated to see if their participation had any impact on their career choices.
  11. 11. Effectiveness of the ROSS Program • Exit survey results revealed that 76% of the students correctly answered the questions about limnology. • We also asked them to list one topic they learned from participating in the ROSS project and their responses included: “How to test water quality, and how to analyze what those tests mean” “I learned about stratification and the differences between dimictic, monomictic, and polymictic lakes” “I have learned that taking water samples and find the depths of lakes is easy but it time consuming”.
  12. 12. Effectiveness of the ROSS Program • 62% of students felt that science experiments can help them better understand the real world and that collecting evidence is an important part of making a decision. • What they liked about the ROSS project: “going to the lake”
  13. 13. Class Activities 1. Make a bathymetric map 2. Deploy thermistor chain to measure temperature in hour increments 3. Weekly sampling for water quality parameters Field & lab components
  14. 14. Bathymetric Map A topographic map of water depth Shows you the shallow and deep spots. Can be used to calculate the lake’s volume of water. Volume is used to calculate the hydrology. (hydrology = annual water inputs relative to volume)
  15. 15. Need depth readings and GPS location
  16. 16. Thermistor Chain to measure temperature through water column on hourly basis Allows us to see if Lake thermally stratifies. If it stratifies, is it stable or does it mix frequently. Frequent mixing means more influence from the lake sediment.
  17. 17. Thermistor Chain to measure temperature through water column on hourly basis
  18. 18. Bethel Lake Temperature Profile October 2017 through January 2018
  19. 19. Temperature-Depth Profiles
  20. 20. Parameters Monitored • Algae/Chlorophyll
  21. 21. Algae are important !
  22. 22. Too much algae can • lead to extreme changes in oxygen levels • lead to odor and taste problems • be toxic
  23. 23. Algal biomass proxy
  24. 24. • Light Requirements for Algae Growth • Nutrients (Mainly Nitrogen and Phosphorus)
  25. 25. Parameters Monitored • Algae/Chlorophyll • Water Clarity • Water Clarity Secchi Disk
  26. 26. Parameters Monitored • Algae/Chlorophyll • Water Clarity • Nitrogen & Phosphorus
  27. 27. Nitrogen & Phosphorus
  28. 28. Algal nutrient- Phosphorus
  29. 29. Algal nutrient- Nitrogen
  30. 30. Parameters Monitored • Algae/Chlorophyll • Water Clarity • Nitrogen & Phosphorus • Suspended Sediment
  31. 31. Suspended Sediments
  32. 32. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Susp.Sediment(mg/L) Observation Bethel Lake Suspended Sediment November 2017 – May 2018
  33. 33. Parameters Monitored • Algae/Chlorophyll • Water Clarity • Nitrogen & Phosphorus • Suspended Sediment • Algal Toxins
  34. 34. Cyanotoxins
  35. 35. High quality data
  36. 36. Preliminary Conclusions • Nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations varied throughout the year, but were significantly higher in the fall than in early summer. • Although concentrations were low, cyanotoxins were present year-round. • Cylindrospermopsin concentrations were significantly higher November through January than in April and June, while microcystin concentrations did not significantly vary throughout the year. • As the ROSS program grows, study sites will be expanded throughout five additional states, across a range of water bodies with various levels of ice cover during the winter. • This partnership not only provides valuable new insights into shoulder and winter season limnology, but allows for the education and empowerment of students to be knowledgeable about their local water resources.
  37. 37. Acknowledgements Special thanks to the Environmental Science students at Rock Bridge High School for sample collection and to members of the MU Limnology Lab for their guidance and support of this project. This work was supported with funds from the North Central Region Water Network
  38. 38. Reservoir observer student scientists: filling the gap of shoulder season limnology

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