Presentation Abstract

Building on 7 previous years of data collected by King County and available on the Puget Sound Stream Benthos website, Vashon Nature Center LLC, worked with King County Groundwater Protection Committee, and local middle and high school students to solve the mystery: why does Shinglemill Creek have low B-IBI scores? Testing the hypothesis that erosion may be affecting stream scores, scientists from VNC took aquatic invertebrate samples in two tributaries of Shinglemill Creek—one tributary with high erosion and landslide activity and one with very little erosion. With the help of 6 expert scientists, over 100 students sorted samples to order, calculated a rough B-IBI score, and explored the samples for differences in the invertebrate communities. There were some signs of impacts due to erosion. However, surprisingly, students found a large difference in mayfly richness and composition between the two tributaries leading to the discovery that one tributary drained ¼ of downtown Vashon (including a parking lot popular for student held car washes) and that low mayfly richness could indicate impact from heavy metal run-off. Students presented their findings to the KCGWPC and instigated a cascade of management discussions and actions the first of which is purchasing car wash kits to filter water before it is released to Shinglemill Creek. With the right level of support, students thrive when presented with real life science problems and can make a difference in watershed management.

Session Title

Session S-04I: Citizen Science as a Tool for Conservation

Conference Track

Citizens/Education

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 8:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

Location

Room 604

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS
 
May 1st, 8:30 AM May 1st, 10:00 AM

Students can sort stream bugs and change watershed management: a case study from Shinglemill Creek, Vashon Island

Room 604

Building on 7 previous years of data collected by King County and available on the Puget Sound Stream Benthos website, Vashon Nature Center LLC, worked with King County Groundwater Protection Committee, and local middle and high school students to solve the mystery: why does Shinglemill Creek have low B-IBI scores? Testing the hypothesis that erosion may be affecting stream scores, scientists from VNC took aquatic invertebrate samples in two tributaries of Shinglemill Creek—one tributary with high erosion and landslide activity and one with very little erosion. With the help of 6 expert scientists, over 100 students sorted samples to order, calculated a rough B-IBI score, and explored the samples for differences in the invertebrate communities. There were some signs of impacts due to erosion. However, surprisingly, students found a large difference in mayfly richness and composition between the two tributaries leading to the discovery that one tributary drained ¼ of downtown Vashon (including a parking lot popular for student held car washes) and that low mayfly richness could indicate impact from heavy metal run-off. Students presented their findings to the KCGWPC and instigated a cascade of management discussions and actions the first of which is purchasing car wash kits to filter water before it is released to Shinglemill Creek. With the right level of support, students thrive when presented with real life science problems and can make a difference in watershed management.