Link to USGS home page
Sound Waves Monthly Newsletter - Coastal Science and Research News from Across the USGS
Home || Sections: Spotlight on Sandy | Fieldwork | Research | Outreach | Meetings | Awards | Staff & Center News | Publications || Archives

 
Outreach

Community of Science Experts and Educators Support Local "Watershed Watchers" Program in Florida


in this issue:
 previous story | next story

Ann Tihansky tells teachers about USGS Web resources at the Watershed Watchers workshop
Above: Ann Tihansky (USGS) tells teachers about USGS Web resources at the Watershed Watchers workshop. [larger version]

Teachers accompany Cliff Merz and Victor Levesque as they explain the instrumentation used to provide real-time data at the Booker Creek stream-gaging station
Above: Teachers accompany Cliff Merz and Victor Levesque as they explain the instrumentation used to provide real-time data at the Booker Creek stream-gaging station. [larger version]

Cliff Merz and Victor Levesque at the Booker Creek stream-gaging station
Above: Cliff Merz (left) and Victor Levesque at the Booker Creek stream-gaging station. [larger version]

Victor Levesque and Cliff Merz
Above: Victor Levesque (left; USGS) shares his technical expertise with Cliff Merz (USF-CMS) at USF's Booker Creek stream-gaging station. [larger version]

In a true community collaborative effort, local scientific experts and educators teamed up to create "Watershed Watchers," a project for fifth graders run through The Pier Aquarium and housed in Campbell Park Elementary Marine Science Center, an elementary school in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Watershed Watchers will monitor a local stream called Booker Creek (see The Pier Aquarium's Community Outreach). Organizers hope to develop this effort into a regional Watershed Watchers network. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologist Ann Tihansky explained: "The USGS wants to help increase community awareness and interest in the coastal and water resources of the region. This partnership is a way to let educators know about many of the USGS coastal and watershed resources."

USGS hydrologist Victor Levesque worked behind the scenes to help University of South Florida researchers select and instrument a site for a stream-gaging station now operating in the creek's watershed. The watershed drains an area subject to urban, commercial, and industrial land use in southeastern Pinellas County, Fla., and is within several hundred feet of Campbell Park Elementary Marine Science Center—literally in the school's backyard. The stream-gaging station includes a complete water-quality-monitoring system for gathering such real-time data as water temperature, water level, pH, and dissolved oxygen, as well as a meteorological tower that measures windspeed, air temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, precipitation, and conductivity. (To see the latest observations, visit COMPS Station - Campbell Park.)

The project resulted from a grant from the Pinellas County Education Foundation and a partnership between the school, The Pier Aquarium, and the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science (USF-CMS). Funds from the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMPS) also provided support. Campbell Park is a marine-science magnet school and educationally focused on increasing understanding of marine science and the coastal zone. Efforts and planning led by Mark Luther, associate professor at the USF-CMS Ocean Modeling and Prediction Laboratory, and E. Howard Rutherford, executive director of The Pier Aquarium, initiated the program with Jim Steen, principal of the Campbell Park Elementary Marine Science Center.

"Watershed Watchers" is designed to be "a true learning laboratory" and a way for teachers and students to connect with scientists and their local resources. More than 20 teachers attended an informal workshop at Campbell Park Elementary school to learn more about the site and how to incorporate watershed science and real-time data into their school's curriculum. The Watershed Watchers will share their data and observations with others through the Environmental Distance Learning (EDL) Web site.

The workshop included an overview of methods used to measure streamflow, a basic discussion on water quality, a description of USGS World Wide Web resources, both educational and scientific, and an introduction to several real-time data networks, such as the USGS' National Water Information System (NWIS), USF's Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS), and COMPS.

The group of scientists, educators, and school administrators who planned the workshop consisted of Mark Luther and Cliff Merz, USF; Karen Henschen, Pier Aquarium; Pauline Luther, EDL; principal Jim Steen, Campbell Park Elementary Marine Science Center; and hydrologists Victor Levesque and Ann Tihansky, USGS. More training sessions will be offered and informational materials provided to teachers in the fall.


Related Web Sites
COMPS Station - Campbell Park Site
University of South Florida
The Pier Aquarium
private, not-for-profit aquarium
USF-CMS Ocean Modeling and Prediction Laboratory
University of South Florida
Campbell Park Elementary Marine Science Center
Campbell Park Elementary School
Environmental Distance Learning
Pinellas County, Florida, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Pinellas County Schools
USGS National Water Information System
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Tampa Bay Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System
University of South Florida

in this issue:
 previous story | next story

 

Mailing List:


print this issue print this issue

in this issue:

Research
cover story:
Scientists Study Sources of Nitrogen in Hood Canal

Biologists Count Parasites to Assess Health of Marsh

Researcher Studies Effects of African Dust on Human and Coral Health

Water Temperature Restricts Distribution of Coho Salmon in Redwood Creek

Outreach USGS Open House in Menlo Park, CA

Scientists and Educators Support "Watershed Watchers" Program

George Crekos' 30-Year Career Celebrated

Geography Students Speak Out at Science Symposium

Meetings Council of Science Editors Annual Meeting

Awards USGS Scientists Receive Coral Reef Task Force Award

National Wetlands Research Center Staff Win Awards for Publications

Staff Visiting Scientist Shares Expertise in Coastal-Evolution Modeling

Publications July 2006 Publications List


FirstGov.gov U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Sound Waves Monthly Newsletter

email Feedback | USGS privacy statement | Disclaimer | Accessibility

This page is http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2006/07/outreach2.html
Updated December 02, 2016 @ 12:09 PM (JSS)