Water Quality Improvement Through Community Campus Partnerships

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Community Education

Dr. Robert Stephenson developed a service-learning project involving students from his Agronomic Crop Production course. His students hosted a booth at the annual Home and Garden Show (in the Hays Mall) about how different land uses affect water quality.

Booth visitors filled out a pre-test, then students shared non-point source pollution information and children participated in the Enviroscape activity while the parents were learning best practices to reduce nps pollution in thier community. Use of the Enviroscape – Watershed/Nonpoint Source Pollution model was donated by the Ellis County Farm Bureau and the KSU Smoky Hill River Watershed specialist. The Enviroscape has been widely used as an educational tool for youth and adults alike.

Fort Hays agricultural students provided lessons in chemical runoff and prevention
methods to visitors of all ages.

Afterschool Elementary Water Education

During Spring 2006, Dr. Jean Gleichsner is coordinating a service-learning project involving undergraduate agricultural students working in teams of two or three. Each team will visit an after-school program at one of the elementary schools in Ellis County (Hays & Victoria) to make a presentation about how different land uses affect water quality. One of the topics in Gleichsner's course, AGRI 626 Soil Fertility, focuses on water quality and fertilizers (organic and inorganic). Specifically, this part of the course focuses on point and nonpoint pollution sources and ways to reduce these problems. The knowledge learned in the course about point and nonpoint pollution will provide a sound basis for the development of the presentations.

Gleichsner's soil science students teach and learn from interaction
with fourth grade afterschool participants.

To reflect on the project, Gleichsner's students will keep a journal documenting what they did, what they learned about water quality and pollution during the project and how this relates to information learned in class. The students will also share their experience with others in the class at the conclusion of the project.

Water Project in the News