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Plymouth South Middle School, Plymouth, Massachusetts


Judith Bradley and Robert Skinner


Vanessa Corsini, Kimberly Ko, Dylan Lyons, Brenna O’Leary, Greg Pappas, Kaitlyn Parker, Andrew Shortall, Hailey Gauntt, Allison Rogers, Katie Rogers, Emily Schlecht


The purpose of our study was to observe the changes in the Eel River from year to year. The analysis included: the river’s profile, depth, amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen compounds, and levels of dissolved oxygen.

The river is designated a Class A water body. It’s fed by the sole source Plymouth-Carver Aquifer. Already classified as a nitrogen-limited river system, town engineers determined that the addition of even 1 mg/L of Nitrogen compounds could spell disaster for the watershed’s plants and animals, some of which are considered endangered. Currently under study by numerous environmental watch groups, it was the intention of these students to gather useful scientific data about the river, which could be shared with any concerned parties. This study would also serve to allow students to become “real” scientists in both field and laboratory experiences.

Our studies were:

  • October 2010: Field measurements with instruments
  • January 2011: Grab samples studied at BSC for E. coli

Our group has met weekly since October. In the course of the year the students learned about our river’s history and importance, what its role is in our water supply, what demands are being put on it by humans. They learned how to use the instruments and their data to show the physical and chemical characteristics. They have also learned to work as a team with each individual carrying his or her share of the required work.

Streaming Media

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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