Seekonk High School, Seekonk, Massachusetts
Matthew Wills and Dave Bonneau
Seekonk High School Biology II Students 2012
Fall 2011 marks the fourth year that all 10th grade Biology II students and their teachers joined the watershed study project initiated by AP Biology students at Seekonk High School. The students traveled to two sites, one upstream and one downstream, along the Runnins River, whose watershed contains 70% of the land area of Seekonk. The upstream site was located a home off of Pamden Land and the downstream site was located just below Burr’s Pond, both in Seekonk. The five Biology II classes were split between the two site locations and it was the job of 140 students to assess the health of the river at these sites using chemistry and biodiversity. This highly successful venture allowed these students to relate ecological textbook concepts to real, hands on research. Students, with the assistance of Kim McCoy, collected and filtered water grab samples, collected macroinvertebrate samples, and took pictures of their classmate’s activities and of organisms, both terrestrial and aquatic, along the river at both sites. Additionally, students completed streamside bio-survey sheets, measured the width, depth and flow of the river, and attempted to identify organisms using field guides.
Students used Excel to depict the river bottom and calculate the average flow and discharge of the river. Macroinvertebrate identification and counts were completed as a class to calculate the Major Group Biotic Index (MGBI) and determine the meaning of the results. This year the Hillsendorf Max 10 ndex was used to calculate the relative pollution tolerance of the river due to an abundance of a single species of Pelecypoda.
This is the forth year that the Biology II students from Seekonk High School have presented their data at the Watershed Access Lab (WAL) Annual Symposium Bridgewater State University. Students are also involved in presentations at the Seekonk Land Trust Annual Meeting in March and at Seekonk High School in May. Presentations will also be available on the SHS Science Department webpage in June 2012 and will be found on the Seekonk High School Science page.
Seekonk High School, Seekonk, Massachusetts (2012). The Runnins River Report - 2011. In Watershed Access Lab Projects. Project 120.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/wal_projects/120
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