Environmental Science class gains hands-on experience
On Sept. 27 Kip Chambers’ Environmental Science class went on a field trip to the South Fork of the Ninnescah River in Lemon Park. The field trip is part of an ecology unit the class is currently studying. Biologists Ryan Waters and Abe Lollar from KDWPT lead the activities which included electro-shocking for fish and collecting maroinvertebrates. The information from these activities will used to provide students with a better understanding of how the biological components of a stream are influenced by geographical location, land use and pollution in the watershed.
In addition to looking at the biological components of the stream, the students did a habitat assessment and some basic water chemistry to give them a more comprehensive understanding of the ecological integrity of the watershed. The Ninnescah River is typical of many western Kansas streams, and it is impacted by a variety of human activities. Allowing students to study this system in-situ provides them with an opportunity to see first-hand some of the environmental issues that are impacting rivers in our area. The objective of this project is to help students develop a basic understanding of ecology, an appreciation for our resources and a sense of stewardship for the land.
This has been an on-going project in the class, and KDWPT has been providing support for the field trip for the last 10 years. Abe Lollar is a graduate of PCC and began his academic preparation for a career in biology while he was at Pratt. Waters has been instrumental in helping PCC with this activity. The support of KDWPT and their biologists is critical to the success of this project. The instructor and the students would like to thank KDWPT and their biologists for their help and support with this project.