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Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories

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Stream Monitoring Network with Wyoming Schools:
Trained Teams Initiate, Expand School Monitoring Programs

Brian Lovett
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
122 West 25th Street
Herschler Building, 4th Floor
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Beginning in March 1993, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality used a 319 grant to fund Teton Science School to conduct a 3-year statewide education and monitoring program with secondary school teachers and Conservation District personnel teams. The program used the Monitoring Wyoming's Water Quality curriculum developed by Teton Science School to train the teams on water quality monitoring and also distributed an extensive water quality monitoring kit to each of the teams. By December 1995, 22 teacher/Conservation District teams had been trained and had established annual testing sites throughout Wyoming.

In the summers of 1993, 1994, and 1995, the Teton Science School conducted training workshops in monitoring protocol, reporting guidelines, and use of the water quality monitoring kits. The three week-long workshops trained 47 teachers and 23 Conservation District personnel. By spring 1996, 56 rivers or streams were being monitored annually on 109 sites. The school estimates that 1,175 students are involved in the monitoring programs.

The real success of the program is demonstrated where teams participating in the monitoring workshop have enhanced or expanded the monitoring programs in their communities. Teams working on the Tongue River in Sheridan and on the Upper North Platte River in Saratoga, for example, have expanded their monitoring efforts to include long-term intensive watershed assessment projects. Students and teachers from Lander High School have adopted a site on Squaw Creek and are now involved in a long-term habitat improvement project. The monitoring training has allowed Pinedale Middle School to establish several long-term monitoring projects, which they have integrated into their science curriculum. Teachers from the Jackson School District are working with the local Conservation District to create a monitoring program for elementary school students, and their efforts have already reached more than 75 elementary school children.

The success of the 3-year education and monitoring program is evident in the commitment of participants, the data submitted, and the positive feedback from all those involved in the project. Teton Science School has recently received numerous requests from educators throughout the state to conduct more workshops on water quality issues. To meet the demand and continue the success of the program, Teton Science School applied for and received a 319 grant for 2001 to conduct two week-long workshops for Wyoming teachers on nonpoint source pollution.

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