Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall Fieldtrip Season Closes with a New Student Record

The fall fieldtrip season has come to a close and with it another great season with our students. As the restoration work continues to move downstream, so do our fieldtrip sites that serve as examples of a stream impacted by tailings. This fall we moved to Silver Bow Creek near Opportunity – next door to the newly built visitor’s center on Route 1. Thank you to Shelley Holland, MT DEQ for allowing us access to that site. Students monitored that site observing vegetation, water quality and macroinvertebrates. Students also monitored Silver Bow Creek in a restored section upstream of Rocker for a contrasting comparison to the tailings in Opportunity. 175 7th graders and 38 9th graders from Butte monitored those sites and each left with an imprint in their minds of what tailings next to a stream looks like, and what it looks like after tailings are removed. We hope it is a site they will remember. 32 students from Drummond school also joined the fieldtrip season monitoring sites in Garrison and Drummond.

Fieldtrip leaders who lead the fieldtrip stations with students are really what make our fieldtrips great. This year our fieldtrip leaders were: From CFWEP staff and student help, Justin Ringsak, Rayelynn Connole, Eric Henrich, Sabira Farrow and I. Volunteers included Dave Salo, US Forest Service, Carly Gibson, US Forest Service, Raj Kasinath, Montana Tech, Joe Griffin, MTDEQ, Rich Prodgers, Bighorn Environmental, Christina Talley, Montana Tech, Debbie Smith, Montana Tech, Kenda Herman, US Forest Service, and Billie-Jean Reynolds, Retired Teacher.

This year’s success with students can be marked with a new student record. CFWEP offers assistance for students interested in continuing their learning in the watershed with research projects or involvement in local projects. This year a record 20 7th grade students all from East Middle School have requested assistance in continuing their research in the watershed. Each student will be matched with a science mentor to complete their science fair project. Students will be meeting afterschool Wednesdays starting November 5th. Each week we will work through a portion of their project. They will meet with their mentors outside of this time. By February students will all have completed their projects. Anyone interested in working with these students as either a mentor, or help with the sessions is welcome!

-Jen Titus, CFWEP Field Coordinator

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