High school students will share research at annual Fox River Watershed Symposium

Students from area high schools will display and discuss their research Tuesday, April 23, as part of the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program.

The program’s 10th Annual Watershed Symposium at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will highlight results of the first 10 years of watershed monitoring and will provide an opportunity for students to interact with teachers and professional scientists.

Each year, the symposium provides a forum for sharing student research projects from all of the watersheds involved in the program. More than 90 students and teachers from 11 schools are registered to participate.

Students present findings in oral or poster format from projects about improving stream health. The symposium provides high school students with a rare opportunity to interact with professional researchers in water quality fields.

This theme of this year’s symposium is “Water Quality and Agriculture.” The event begins at 8:15 a.m. and continues throughout the day in the Phoenix Room of the University Union at UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Highlights of the event include:

• Panel Discussion: Water Quality and Agriculture, featuring UW-Green Bay Alumni Earth Caretaker Award Winner Ryan Stockwell, Agriculture Program Manager for the National Wildlife Federation; and Jim Snitgen, Water Resources Supervisor for the Oneida Tribe of Indians.

• Student presentations and poster session, including six student videos

• Afternoon tour of Pagel Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee County

With funding provided by Windward Prospects Ltd. (formerly Arjo Wiggins Appleton) and a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program grant, the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program is a multi-year education, monitoring and assessment program in and around the Fox River Watershed.

Program coordinator Annette Pelegrin, Outreach Specialist for the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at UW-Green Bay, said the monitoring program is a great learning tool for young scientists. The program is a great example of collaboration between science, education and the community, she said.

“The students take on the role of scientists and explore questions about their local streams and waterways, in partnership with scientific agencies,” Pelegrin said. “The local community benefits as a result of this rich learning experience as more people learn about the environmental challenges facing our most valuable natural assets: The Fox River, Green Bay and all waters of the Fox-Wolf Basin.”

The program’s main goal is long-term monitoring of the watershed to provide high-quality data to guide resource management decisions and help predict impacts on the ecosystem. It also is designed to enhance student, teacher and community understanding and stewardship of the Fox River Watershed.

High school students and teachers participating in the Watershed Symposium are from Ashwaubenon, Green Bay East, Green Bay Preble, Green Bay Southwest, Appleton East, Appleton North, Luxemburg-Casco, Pulaski, Oneida Nation, Oshkosh North and West De Pere high schools, along with the Green Bay Boys & Girls Club.

The program also involves partners from UW-Green Bay, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance, Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin Sea Grant, the U.S. Geological Survey, Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District and the Oneida Nation.

To register for the Watershed Symposium, contact Annette Pelegrin by phone at (920) 465-5031 or by e-mail at pelegria@uwgb.edu. For more information about the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program, visit the program’s web site at www.uwgb.edu/watershed.


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