Water Quality Improvement Through Community Campus Partnerships

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World Water Monitoring Day and Geocaching Project

Dr. Jean Gleichsner developed a service-learning project that consisted of students testing water samples in various locations from September 18 - October 18, 2006 (World Water Monitoring Day) and a geocaching project with children that involved utilizing Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. Participating in the water testing portion of the service-learning project were students enrolled in Dr. Gleichsner’s Soils course. Different students from the same course participated in the geocaching activity.

Students participated in the Environmental Day Tour on Tuesday October 9, 2007 in Hays, Kansas at the K-State Agriculture Research Center. Four of Dr. Gleichsner’s students discussed their presentation “Kansas Water: A Valuable Resource” with attendees. For the service-learning component of their course, students were to sample water from one to five locations and test for dissolved oxygen, percent saturation, pH, turbidity, nitrate-nitrite nitrogen, phosphate, and mercury. The students presented their knowledge on various aspects of water quality, shared the results from the class’ water sampling in different locations in Kansas, and fielded questions from the audience.

For the geocaching project, FHSU students set up caches on the campus. Grade school students, using GPS devices and led by FHSU students, found the caches near watersheds and other water-related sites on campus. The caches provided the grade school students with information on how to collect a water sample, test the turbidity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, percent saturation, pH, nitrates, nitrites and phosphate levels of the water. The purpose of the geocaching event was to create awareness of issues with water quality and pollution.