2014-2015 Lake City Water Quality Field Experience at Blackwell Island!

2014-09-18 12.04.24

Lake City High School started the year off with a bang on the water quality field experience! The teachers at LCHS have an awesome interdisciplinary Outdoor Studies Program which includes AP Environmental Science, English, Algebra and History. Those four teachers planned the field trip together, which was held at Blackwell Island on Coeur d’Alene Lake last Thursday.

The trip included four rotations that helped the students connect the history of the region and current impacts to the present state of water quality while developing a sense of place. 44 junior and senior students rotated through four stations:

1. Outdoor writing

2. Kayaking history tour

3. Wastewater Treatment Plant tour

4. Water quality testing

It was a very exciting day! Check out the comments in the Lake City Student Reflections post to read what the students thought about the day! The students are now working on analyzing their data and drawing conclusions about what they learned. You can see the data they collected on IDAH2O’s database. In the spring, these LCHS students will return to Blackwell Island to help the BLM establish a native plant garden!

2014-09-18 08.06.08 HDR 2014-09-18 10.18.48 2014-09-18 12.57.57 2014-09-18 13.53.22 IMG_20140918_081400_985 IMG_20140918_081502_748 IMG_20140918_083253_762 IMG_20140918_084130_247 IMG_20140918_090525_152 IMG_20140918_092738_857 IMG_20140918_093446_556


15 thoughts on “2014-2015 Lake City Water Quality Field Experience at Blackwell Island!

  1. During the WWTP tour we learned how they clean and treat the water, during the water testing we learned how clean water helps wild life and the invertebrates grow and survive, in the outdoor writing we learned how high phosphorous levels effect algal growth and therefore dissolved oxygen levels, and while kayaking we learned that clean water is fun water. Being outdoors was definitely a lot nicer than being indoors and I retained a lot more that way. the trip really helped me understand how hydrology careers shape my environment and how important they are to my community and the field learning really showed me how sensitive a water system can be.

  2. On this trip, I learned that if we don’t do something about the pollution in our waters, then future generations will have an even harder time getting freshwater. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, people can do water quality testing on their own and research the history as to how the pollution got so bad in the first place. Also, people should take some time to think through different, creative ways that we could help reduce and clean up pollution. i liked this trip because we were learning as if we were in a classroom, but we were more engaged because we got to interact with the topics that we were learning about. Although all the activities were very interesting, my favorite part of the whole trip would have to be the kayaking. One thing I found really interesting while we were on the trip is that there are many different scientists out there that specialize in one or more aspects of the environment. On this trip, I got to learn many new things, but ,unfortunately, I don’t think people in general quite understand everything that they need to about the environment to effectively make a difference to the amount of pollution in our water systems. Hopefully, in the future, people will start to care more and will want to contribute more effort into this issue.

  3. What can I say abou this amazing field trip. Well, it was amazing. The best. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life. When testing Blackwell island’s water source for dissolved oxygen, turbiddy, and ph levels; I felt as if I was doing something of purpose. The ducks wading by looked up with a face that said, “Hey bud, thanks for the help.”. I also felt like an actual scientist looking at the macro-invertebrates. Not only was it a refreshing look into a biological assessment, it was a eye-opening view into an entire world I was not aware existed. The kayaking, oh boy! That was a neat record of the history of Cougar Bay and Blackwell Island. Also, the two water outputs were also very interesting. The reading was spectacular as well as the water waste treatment plant. Both of those showed a frightening and chilling look into what pollution may do in the future. In conclusion, this field “trip”,more like a field journey, was a non-stop, educational, fun day of school. Thank you, teachers, for giving me this opportunity.

  4. I thought that this was a really great field trip! It was great to be outdoors and be engaged in what we were doing rather than just sitting in a classroom all day. My favorite part was the water quality testing/biological assessment because I got to get a closer look at our environment and the science behind it. I learned that there is a huge amount of waste and metal pollution in our freshwater sources from old mines that used to run into the water which is now harming wildlife, and that fact gets overlooked. Our community doesn’t seem to have as good of a grasp on what it takes to get the water in our houses the way it is. I also understand exactly how much testing and work goes into water quality now (i.e. fieldwork with testing water and the wastewater treatment plant) and I have a better appreciation for it. All in all a really awesome experience!

  5. This field trip was a lot of fun! The most valuable learning experience was how important water quality testing is. Water quality affects everything we do. The water from the water treatment plant is pumped directly into the lake, making it important for the water to be treated. Water treatment has a huge amount of work put into it, and it is very important to everything. Water poisoning isn’t a very well known issue because the lake looks so beautiful. It’s was awesome doing your usual schoolwork on labs, with the added bonus/giant difference of being outside in the field. I loved being able to kayak and learn about everything around us. I’ve realized that careers in hydrology are a lot more important, and more fun than I previously thought. I have realized that the general public knows hardly anything else about water stuff.

  6. The field trip was a great experience and a great new way to learn. I actually paid attention in class (which doesnt happen very often) and wanted to learn. It got me excited on learning about our hydrosphere and how we affect it and it affects us. Its also comforting knowledge to know that everything we flush doesnt end up in the river. I learned just how long the process is and how much science is put into cleaning our water and how they make it cleaner than it was originally. When all is said and done all i can say is that this was one of the funnest field trips i have ever gone on and i actually learned something. There should be more programs like this one.

  7. I had a blast! I got to learn about some of the abiotic factors as well as some biotic factors that effect our local aquatic eco system. we did it all, from water quality testing, we toured the wwtp (waste water treatment plant), outdoor writing, and even a historic kayak ride! I love being in an outdoor learning environment, it is much more engaging than the traditional classroom. I really enjoyed kayaking today, it is one of my favorite activities. I never realized prior to this experience how many scientists actually work in our area to protect our water. Now that I have seen all of these processes I feel a greater responsibility to protect our beautiful local waters.

  8. The most valuable thing I learned from the trip was how important water quality is to all life on our biosphere. Water quality impacts our daily lives because it affects all living things. Everything depends on water to survive. The trip’s learning experience was similar to typical learning experiences by having us take data and write in packets. It was different by having us outside and actually seeing everything we were learning about. My favorite part about the trip was kayaking! The trip’s experiences shaped my understanding of careers in water resources and hydrology by showing me how important, interesting, and fun it is. The trip influenced my personal viewpoint on human understanding of water resources by showing me how critical it is for people to know how important water quality is and how we need to protect it.

  9. The field trip was a great time and learning experience. The most valuable thing that I learned on this trip was how to properly conduct research and determine water quality. Water quality impacts not just us humans, but the whole ecosystem. From the water quality testing I learned that there are many factors that determine if our water is safe, healthy, and high quality (i.e. pH, oxygen, turbidity, etc.) and how our water affects the life within it. The kayaking showed us how much of our garbage and other things get put into the river from the storage drain and the reading also showed how much outside material goes into our bodies of water. The water waste treatment center was very surprising to me because I had no idea that they used more biological treatments, rather than chemical treatments to clean the dirty water. My favorite part was the overall learning experience and seeing behind the scenes. I definitely learned that the employees are not just average workers, but are scientists who put in a lot of effort. Our water is a very important aspect in our ecosystem and it is something that we need to not only care about, but also help improve.

  10. what kind of plants will you be planting in the garden on Blackwell island, and how will you be taking care of the plants already on the island?

  11. wow that looks so fun, but im curious to the types of micro invertebrates you found and the quantity of certain types of speacies but it seems like the water pretty clear im really curious about what the water tempature because it would determine the certain types of species

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