Reflection – PFHS @ Twin Lakes: planting trees, testing water quality and catching fish!

Mrs. Rust’s Honors Biology students got their hands dirty today at Fish Creek and Twin Lakes near Rathdrum, ID! The students were split into two groups during the full-day field trip: one helped the Twin Lakes Homeowners Association re-vegetate the stream banks of Fish Creek while the other tested water quality in Twin Lakes and went fishing with Idaho Fish & Game. Then they swapped places so they could experience it all! Check out these photos from the day, and then read the comments below for the students’ reflections.

2014-10-09 09.12.40 HDR 2014-10-09 09.12.50 HDR IMG_20141009_091839_031  IMG_20141009_093934_134 IMG_20141009_100414_768 IMG_20141009_100444_687 IMG_20141009_100542_903IMG_20141009_100658_167IMG_20141009_100714_780IMG_20141009_101805_178IMG_20141009_102156_621IMG_20141009_102212_163IMG_20141009_102224_929IMG_20141009_103049_774IMG_20141009_103210_843IMG_20141009_103700_749IMG_20141009_103740_3822014-10-09 10.00.17 2014-10-09 10.00.33-1 2014-10-09 10.21.21 2014-10-09 10.21.33

Students, please individually reflect on these points in the comments below:

  1. What is the most valuable thing you learned from today’s experiences?
  2. How does water quality impact you and your community?
  3. In what ways was today’s field work experience similar to typical science labs you have completed in school? In what ways was it different?
  4. What was your favorite part about today’s field work?
  5. How have today’s experiences shaped your understanding of careers in water resources or hydrology?
  6. Has today’s field work influenced your personal viewpoint on or understanding of water resources?

10 thoughts on “Reflection – PFHS @ Twin Lakes: planting trees, testing water quality and catching fish!

  1. 1.I learned that all bodies of water in a watershed are tightly connected. The tests in both the pond and lake were either very close or exactly the same.
    2. We live right above an aquifer, so all or most water makes it there, which means so do the things we put in the water.
    3. They were the same in the sense that we had to analyze data and follow set procedures in order to do the tests right. It was different, because we were taking and examining fresh samples, as well as learning how to take those samples out in the field.
    4. My favorite part about today was planting the trees and fishing for the first time.
    5. I realize now that there is a lot more to those careers than just monitoring water all day long. They actually have to use ingenuity to find ways to restore the body of water effectively and relatively cheaply.
    6. I realize now that what we put into what may seem a small or inconsequential stream or even what we just toss on the ground, can lead to bigger problems.

  2. 1) Many types of plants (mostly trees) can be planted halfway or more in the water! This explains how the roots are able to save sediment from drifting downstream.
    2) Any damage to the water can affect those elsewhere. While I do not live near Twin Lakes, this water can still become a problem for me due to movement, weather, or more.
    3) Rather than having just one record-keeper (like at school), the job was passed around due to convenience which allowed almost everyone to completely participate. The note keeping and general process was still the same as school.
    4) Fishing was fun….in the way that I learned that fish hate me, so planting the trees and taking pictures of those doing the same was very fun.
    5) I now understand that water hydrology is important to the environment, and may actually require a good amount of extra effort to preserve everything that needs saving.
    6) Water resources are very important and can be easily affected: both for the good and for the bad, so everyone is included.

  3. 1) I learned that the different species of macroinvertebrates in a pond/stream can really affect what type of water it is.
    2) The water quality in the lakes and rivers around us can affect the way we live because some of that water we use and our houses and many people swim or fish in those water bodies
    3) Looking at the water levels of oxygen and PH balance can help us determine how great the water quality is where as in the labs in class we look at algal levels to find water quality.
    4) Our favorite part about the fieldtrip was collecting the bugs and investigating the different types.
    5) I realized there are a lot of workers today in this field that we don’t realize.
    6) I look at the water we have around us differently and notice that different things in the water can really affect the ecosystem around it.

  4. 1. The most valuable thing I learned from today’s experience was that whatever happens in creeks and the land above lakes and rivers affects the water quality and flows into larger bodies of water.
    2. Water quality impacts me and my community because boating, swimming, fishing, and other recreational activities can be negatively affected by poor water quality.
    3. They were different because we took the samples instead of someone else collecting them and then having us look at them. They were the same because we still collected data as we would at school.
    4. My favorite part was planting trees for the creek restoration.
    5. I now understand that careers in hydrology do much more than just sample water.
    6. I now realize that water resources can be affected easily and water quality is important.

  5. 1.I learned from this trip that watersheds are connected and one creek/lake’s condition can affect the other water bodies in that watershed.
    2. Water is a need for all life functions, so if the water quality is bad then it can cause sickness, ect.
    3. It was the same in where we had to take data and analyze it, but it was different because we actually out in the field doing the work.
    4. My favorite part was helping plant the trees and plants and catching my first fish!
    5. I now understand how many different careers there are in water and how important each one is.
    6.I realized how important our actions on water are and small acts such as throwing some trash into the creek can have a huge affect in the long run.

  6. 1.) The most valuable thing I learned today was how to take ph and dissolved oxygen levels.
    2.) We wouldn’t have healthy water to drink if it gets to polluted.
    3.) They were similar because we had to test for certain things. They were different because we were out in the field testing fresh samples.
    4.) I liked learning how to fish and doing water tests out on the lake.
    5.) They have a pretty fun job. They get to test water and study the bugs they find in it to find if it’s safe.
    6.) Water quality affects everything. If we throw trash on the ground, we are gonna run into problems later on.

  7. 1) The most valuable thing I learned from today’s experiences was probably that water problems like these can be a big problem and influence any and everyone in the area. Things that might seem little, like sediment in a steam or allowing cows to drink from a creek can potentially be a big problem.
    2) The water quality impacts me and my community in many different ways, since we need clean water for things that help us survive, like drinking, bathing in, and cleaning other things in. If the water quality was bad, we wouldn’t be able to survive as easily, and many simple things would become complicated.
    3) Today’s field work was similar to typical school science labs, because we gathered data and recorded it. What made it different was that we were collecting real-life data, instead of creating similar scenarios to duplicate the real-life situation.
    4) My favorite part about today was that we got to learn the information we needed to in a fun way. Learning outside by completing experiments to test and collect the necessary data, rather than learning from a text book inside school, is way more fun.
    5) Based on today’s experiences, I learned how important careers in water resources and hydrology really are. I didn’t realize how crucial it is that we have them working to maintain a good water quality to help the whole population survive, but especially those around or nearest to that specific water system.
    6) I knew water and its condition was important to us, but I didn’t realize that it is as important as it is. I didn’t know that the water dissolved oxygen levels or temperature could determinate whether a body of water has fish or not. Also, I didn’t realize how detrimental a little bit of cow poop or sediment in a creek can be to the lake or other body of water it feeds.

  8. 1) I learned that the amount if oxygen in any body of water effects what animals or microinvertebates live in it.
    2) The water quality impacts us because it eventually gets into our aquifer, so if it’s not clean or it’s polluted then it has a bad impact on our aquifer (drinking water).
    3) It was the same in the fact that we were still conducting a test we just did it in the actual environment. Also, it’s similar because we measured PH balance of the water and that decides if there is an algal bloom due to the amount of phosphorus in the water.
    4) My favorite part of the field work was knowing that we were helping make a difference and helping our watershed.
    5) I realized how many people are actually striving to stop the non-point pollution at Fish Creek and Twin Lakes.
    6) Now when I look at water, I think about what and how things are impacting the water and the ecosystem.

  9. 1) The most valuable thing I learned is that the water in our area is tightly connected, so it it important to take care of even the smallest of creeks like Fish Creek.
    2) Water quality has an impact on me and my community because it is the water our animals drink/live in, the water we swim in, and it can even be the water we drink. If the water has bad chemical levels or bacteria in it, it can affect our health.
    3) The field work was similar to our science labs at school because we had to analyze the data and test the samples. It was different because we got to take fresh samples and observe the real world problems through our own eyes. Being at Fish Creek and Upper Twin Lake helped connect everything we have been learning in class.
    4) My favorite part about today’s field work was planting the trees because such a simple job that only took us a couple hours will have a positive impact on not only Fish Creek, but also the lake, animals, and homeowners.
    5) Today’s experiences showed me that workers in water resources or hydrology are vital to the environment and everything that lives in it. These workers have the power to effectively restore the watershed.
    6) Our field trip helped me understand the importance of every water resource and how a small amount of work can change an ecosystem for the better.

  10. 1. The most valuable thing I learned from our field work was that by just planting a few small trees, that takes a small amount of time, people can positively impact Fish Creek and the people around it.
    2. Water quality has a huge impact on people, animals, and other organisms. Water is an important quality to life, and with bacteria filled water it makes it that much harder to maintain homeostasis for people as well as animals.
    3.The field work that we, as a class, completed on Thursday was similar to past science experiments, because in the past I have recorded data and compared it to past years data. Which is what we did today.
    4.My favorite part about today was the vertebrae sampling section of the field trip, because it is not something that you get to do everyday.
    5.Through todays experiences I found that the importance of water quality has to do with the survival of wild life, and maintaining of homeostasis.
    6.I have found that my point of view towards water resources has changed, and how half a day can help towards a healthier and cleaner ecosystem.

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