Knee Deep In Knowledge

The environments around the ponds show a thriving wetland ecosystem with abundant plant and animal life, concluded students of Michael Lindemulder, who teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science at Mott, and took on the monitoring duties. His students visit the ponds as part of their curriculum.

“We talk about water quality and how pollutants get into the system,” Lindemulder said. “We talk about different factors that could impact the results. It’s a good opportunity for students to see how science can fit into a career.”

Teachers hope some students will want to consider careers in science after this experience.

For a technology component, Gannon’s students created and presented a video about their efforts to share with more than 3,000 other students who also monitor water quality along the Clinton River.

The council’s student congress provides a venue for students to share their findings. Lindemulder’s students created an educational pamphlet about the project.

“The best part of this partnership with the parks system is that my students get outdoors in nature and do field work,” Gannon said.

“It’s exciting to see my students with their heads bent over magnifying glasses looking for invertebrates and finding there are creatures in the water, even though we don’t see them.”

Last year, the stream-monitoring program was a perfect complement to Gannon’s curriculum that had students studying all aspects of water, including a field trip to a water-treatment plant, discussions on the difference between municipal wells and city water, and an initiative to have students empty water bottles before recycling them at school.

“I hope all of these efforts help students make the connection that every little bit of water adds up to the whole of the resources that we all share on this planet,” Gannon said.

“Just by emptying their water bottles, they add water back into the water cycle and keep it out of landfills where it would be lost for a very long time.”

Desiree Stanfield is the Communications and Marketing Supervisor for the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission. Reach her at stanfieldd@oakgov.com.

——————Sidebar—————–

Community Support

In 2012, nearly 3,500 students from more than 20 schools monitored streams via the Stream Leaders Program. The program is funded by: GM, DTE Energy Foundation, REI Inc., Giffels Webster Engineers, Rochester Rotary, Sterling South, Oxford Bank, ABB Robotics, Womens National Farm and Garden, Chrysler Group LLC, and Garden Club of Michigan.

Mentor support is also vital to the program. More than 50 GM employees participate, as well as individuals from Chrysler Group LLC, Clinton River Canoe and Kayak, Giffels Webster Engineers, Oakland County Parks and Recreation, The City of Auburn Hills, and interns from the Clinton River Watershed Council.

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