Nottingham Natural Resources Students Examine Chittenango Falls

     Published on 10/12/16   Tagged under:    District News    Academics    Nottingham High School   

Nottingham students in the Natural Resources 200 course put on tall rubber boots, armed themselves with clipboards and laminated reference guides and started the hike down to the bottom of Chittenango Falls.
Acting as scientists for the day, the students examined temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, dissolved solids, stream discharge, stream velocity, an overall habitat visual assessment and macroinvertebrate collection and ID. They even used an app on their phone called IMapInvasives to help track invasive species! Students were hoping to learn about our natural resources, their current condition and ways to help preserve them for the future. 
“I like this hands-on stuff,” sophomore Brandan Meyer explained. “You get to be outside but you still get to learn. We’re testing to see if there is any pollution in the water here by looking at how many macroinvertebrates there are. I could see myself maybe doing this for a job one day, being outside and checking streams.”
The students’ work will be put to good use as it was submitted to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which will use it as they monitor the health of local streams in Onondaga County.
“It’s amazing to me that the students get that opportunity in high school to actually make an impact on our local environment and natural resources,” Natural Resources teacher Jaime Hoey Rodriguez explained. “We even identified two invasive species and one species that is only found in this location in Chittenango Falls, so that information will also be sent to the DEC to monitor the populations of those organisms.”
After completing their analysis, students gave the stream a score on several variables, such as habitat rating (good), biological water quality rating (fair) and chemical water quality rating (good), to help the DEC determine if the stream should receive additional monitoring. Overall, the students gave the stream a rating of good, which means there is little to no evidence of any impairment. 
Keep up the great work, Natural Resources experts! The Natural Resources program at Nottingham is one of 23 Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offered in the SCSD. To learn more about these programs, please visit our CTE website!