In early 2010 WPWA and the Chariho Middle School (CMS) received a grant from the Rhode Island Rivers Council to design and institute a data management system for a seventh grade level research project focused on the Meadow Brook. CMS science teachers John Labriola and Dan Potts designed this project around a national education program called “Salmon in the Classroom.” With cooperation from the other CMS seventh grade science teachers, Jim McMonigle and Steve Cormier, every seventh grader in the school was involved in raising salmon using equipment provided by RIDEM’s Aquatic Education Program. Students then attended field trips to examine habitat and water quality at three sites on the Meadow Brook. After collecting the data from these sites, the students were required to analyze their data to determine which, if any, site would be best to release the salmon fry they raised.

The objectives for this program state: “Through their research and field experience students will develop an understanding of the biotic and abiotic factors which affect the stability of an ecosystem. In addition students will demonstrate their ability to gather, organize, and apply scientific information in order to support a hypothesis. Finally, students will develop knowledge of the affects of human activities on the health of an ecosystem.” WPWA’s role was to train the students in the classroom on proper use of the sampling equipment; assist each class on their field trips; and then develop, train, and institute a data management system that can be posted on both CMS and WPWA’s websites.

The data collection methods implemented by the students did not have formalized quality control checks. Therefore, WPWA is offering these data for informational purposes only. We are also posting data collected by CMS students for another project on the Wood River for the years 2006 and 2007. As more data are collected over the next several years WPWA will continue to publish them on our website regardless of funding availability. To help support the future of programs like this click here.

For accurate water quality data in and near the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed visit WPWA’s Water Quality Data page.

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