What’s New

Bern Sweeney and Dave Arscott

Arscott Takes Reins as Executive Director

After decades of exceptional leadership, Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., is ready to focus on his primary passion at the Stroud Center, research, and continue to help with outreach and fundraising activities. Read more

Steve Kerlin helps carry voyageur canoe

Students Take to the Woods to Monitor Streamside Forests

This spring, more than 130 students helped Stroud Center educators and watershed restoration staff monitor streamside forests in the Middle-Schuylkill and Brandywine-Christina watersheds. The in-field, service-learning opportunities were designed to involve students in research to collect useful data on riparian-zone tree plantings. Read more

Jen Totora teaching rowing

Meet Jennifer Totora, Stroud’s New Education Specialist

Totora brings more than 15 years of combined environmental education and field work experience. A self-proclaimed “STEMinist,” she has a passion for sharing the wonders of the natural world with kids of all ages and a specific interest in inspiring underserved girls to become the next leaders in science and engineering. Read more

Sovana Bistro

“Dine and Donate” a Success!

Sovana Bistro’s “Dine and Donate” night to benefit the Stroud Center was a huge success! On Sunday, April 23, diners raised $1,012 to benefit our freshwater research, environmental education, and watershed restoration efforts. A big thank you to all of our hungry and thirsty friends and to the generosity of Sovana Bistro. Learn how you can support the Stroud Center while having fun as we continue our 50th anniversary celebration!

Clean by Design

Earlier this month, 38 Master of Landscape Architecture students from the University of Pennsylvania visited Stroud Water Research Center to learn about protecting clean fresh water through land use and best management practices. Distinguished Research Scientist and President Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., led the program. Read more

Mayfly screen shot from Water Quality app

Water Quality Mobile App

The Stroud Center’s Water Quality mobile app is a water-monitoring data-collection and learning tool designed for use by educators and their students, citizen scientists, and researchers. The app helps users log and share data they collect in the field, interpret the data through learning pop-ups, and export it to create databases. Available on iTunes and Google Play.

Award-Winning Web Toolkit Helps Protect Fresh Water

WikiWatershed, an online toolkit featuring a watershed-modeling web app developed by Stroud Water Research Center and partners was awarded the 2017 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Science Education Feature: Caddisflies

Learn about the ecosystem benefits of net-spinning caddisflies, as well as how they interact with their environment, from Ben Tumolo, a visiting Ph.D. candidate from Montana State University. Caddisflies are abundant in White Clay Creek, the Exceptional Value Stream that runs behind the Stroud Center. Like this video? See more like it on our YouTube playlist. Subscribe to our channel to be notified of new videos!

Volunteers Plant 1,140 Trees Along Red Clay for National Volunteer Week

Stroud Water Research Center celebrated National Volunteer Week by restoring 3.8 acres (approximately 165,528 square feet) along two first-order, headwater tributaries of Red Clay Creek, which is a major tributary of Brandywine Creek and then the Christina River.

Stroud Center Honors Eagle Scout for Design of Outdoor Education Kiosk

Payton Shonk was honored for his Eagle Scout project, an education kiosk, at the Stroud Center’s dedication of a new outdoor classroom. More than 5,000 students and adults have learned about freshwater stewardship at the outdoor classroom since its debut last fall.

Laura Zgleszewski uses the qPCR machine

DNA Tool Helps Scientists Identify
Bacteria in Streams

Like a CSI forensic investigator, Stroud Center research technician Laura Zgleszewski is asking the question, “Who are you?” Only instead of hunting criminals, she’s identifying the likely sources of fecal bacteria in streams, a potential human health risk. Read more

David Bressler and Jennie Matkov collect stream data

David Bressler Connects
Citizens to Science

“Through citizen science, I hope we can make environmental science more accessible, help people better understand the world around them, and show them how their actions impact freshwater resources and ecosystems,” says David Bressler, Stroud Center’s new citizen science facilitator. Read more

Steve Kerlin helps carry voyageur canoe

Education Staff Lead Presentations and Winning Voyageur Canoe at NAAEE Conference

Stroud Center education staff continued their international impact at the North American Association for Environmental Education conference held in Madison, Wisconsin — near the home of Aldo Leopold (a father of the conservation movement) and the Leopold Shack where Aldo wrote the Sand County Almanac. Read more

Bern Sweeney looks over a level lip spreader

Partnership in Cover Crop
Research Bears Fruit

Cover cropping coach, Steve Groff, explains in Lancaster Farming how a project at Meadow Springs Farm is a rare opportunity for Stroud Center scientists to closely observe and measure the results of agricultural practices that affect water quality. Groff will speak at the Stroud Center on March 30.

Q & A: Rewarding Private Behavior
to Enhance the Commons

Stroud Center president Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., and Jamie Blaine published an op-ed piece in the September 2016 issue of Freshwater Science proposing a new system to reward private behavior to protect freshwater resources. To expand their audience, they wrote a post in The Nature Conservancy’s “Cool Green Science” blog; Sweeney spoke about the experience in a recent Society of Freshwater Science newsletter.

More Media Mentions

Mystery Midge with “Kite Tail” Eggs

In 2015, Stroud Center researchers Sherman Roberts and Dave Funk, along with a former Stroud Center employee, were camping on the northern bank of Lake Umbagog along the border of Maine and New Hampshire. Roberts noticed some insects flying over the lake with what appeared to be long strings dangling beneath them. Funk collected some of the eggs in order to rear and identify them. A search of the technical literature failed to turn up any references to this sort of egg-laying behavior in the Chironomidae. Watch the video to learn more.

Model My Watershed: A Tool for Water Resource Management

US EPA Watershed Academy presented a webcast about Model My Watershed, a user-friendly online watershed modeling web app for use by citizens, conservation practitioners, municipal decision-makers, educators, students, and others. Archive link coming soon!

Cows in a stream

From Stream to Tap: Keeping Fresh Water
Clean and Safe

Water treatment facilities have procedures in place to make water safe for drinking. But of course, the dirtier the water, the greater the cost to treat it. A key part of protecting freshwater resources is identifying and reducing sources of pollution.

Stroud Center Celebrates National Park Service’s Commitment to Fresh Water

More than 220 guests joined the Stroud Water Research Center at the 14th annual Water’s Edge gala as they honored the National Park Service and its director Jonathan Jarvis.

Expanded Professional Development Programs for Educators

We’re expanding our professional development programs for educators to include the WikiWatershed webinar series, more workshops at the Stroud Center, and an emerging partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit.

David Reinfeld

New Major Gifts Director Joins
the Stroud Center

Having grown up in the Sunshine State, it’s not surprising David Reinfeld has an equally sunny outlook for his new position at Stroud Water Research Center. “I’m extremely motivated to see the Stroud Center succeed,” he said in a recent interview.

Procloeon rivulare by David Funk

Could Rising Temps Be Killing Mayflies, Threatening Streams?

When mayfly populations decline, it’s a warning that something has gone wrong. But what? Stroud Center scientists and their colleagues are investigating.

Choosing Mobile Digital Technologies to Enhance Environmental Education

Whether you are a teacher, parent, or citizen scientist, here are a few ideas worth considering to make the most of mobile digital technology for environmental education.

Fostering Community Partnerships Through STEM Education

Students from Serviam Girls Academy spent a day collecting and identifying macroinvertebrates as part of the Stroud Center’s award-winning stream ecology program. This learning partnership was sponsored by Axalta Coating Systems.

New board members

Stroud Center Welcomes New Board Members

The staff and board of directors of Stroud Water Research Center are pleased to welcome Robert DiFilippo, Holly Michael, Josh Auld, and Michael Bucklin. DiFilippo began his three-year term of service at the September board meeting; Michael, Auld, and Bucklin will begin their service at the December board meeting.

Children collecting data

To Unplug or Plug In

In this age of technology ubiquity, is there a place for digital devices in environmental education? An article co-authored by Stroud Center Director of Education Steve Kerlin, Ph.D., argues that it may be time to abandon the “Turn that thing off and go outside!” mindset. Read the full journal article on the Green Teacher website

Young riparian buffer in Franklin Township, Pennsylvania

Reviving the Commons Op-Ed Featured on Nature Conservancy Blog

Stroud Center Director, Bernard Sweeney, Ph.D., and James Blaine believe that although self-interest can lead to the destruction of the commons, through incentivizing best management practices it can also be harnessed to reverse the destruction. Read about on TNC’s Cool Green Science blog

Photo of Rich Shockey and his wife in kayaks

Meet the Forester Who’s Leading People to Clean Fresh Water

Ecological information specialist Rich Shockey is one of our most effective partners helping to spread the word about how streamside forests protect and restore streams and rivers.

Senator Casey takes farm tour

Senator Gets First-Hand Look
at Conservation Practices

Riparian buffers, cover crops, even rain gutters on the barn can make a big difference to water quality. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. saw all this and more on a farm tour that showcased conservation upgrades. Read about it in Lancaster Farming

Sampling the Susquehanna

Long-Term Research Shows Improvement in Susquehanna River

Stroud Center entomologists have been sampling macroinvertebrates in the Susquehanna River near Procter & Gamble’s Mehoopany plant since 1974. The number of insect species collected has doubled over that time period. Read more in an article by the Wyoming County Press Examiner

Laptop computer

WikiWatershed Toolkit Webinar

Join us for an webinar introduction to WikiWatershed and the Model My Watershed web app, which demonstrates the effects of land use and best management practices on your local streams and watersheds. This is just one of the many great education events happening this fall!

How Sparta Middle School Is Working to Restore Nash Creek

We were so excited when Groundswell Michigan shared this video with us! It shows how two Michigan schools used our Leaf Pack Experiment to assess their local stream’s health. They discovered what was impacting their stream and then developed a plan to restore it with native plantings.

New publication graphic

River conservation, restoration, and preservation: rewarding private behavior to enhance the commons

In this new paper published in Freshwater Science, Stroud Center director Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., and James Blaine explore how incentivization of best management practices could improve conservation, preservation, and restoration of rural and agricultural watersheds.

Philly.com logo

Shout-Out For Stroud Center Environmental Science Programming

Mike Weilbacher, executive director of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, included the Stroud Center in his list of Philadelphia-area nonprofits that have “offered first-class natural science programming for decades.”

Mike Broomall sampling the Susquehanna River

Scientists Monitor River for Procter & Gamble

Stroud Center entomologists were interviewed as they performed their yearly macroinvertebrate sampling on the Susquehanna River near Procter & Gamble’s Mehoopany plant. Stroud Center has been assessing water quality on the river since 1974.

Photo of Jonathan Jarvis

Stroud Award to be Presented to the National Park Service and Director Jonathan Jarvis

On the centennial anniversary of one of America’s greatest treasures, the 2016 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence will be presented to the National Park Service and its director, Jonathan Jarvis. Jarvis will receive the award during the annual Water’s Edge gala on November 3 at Longwood Gardens.

Photo of citizen scientists working in New Jersey

Volunteers to Monitor Threats to Water for 15 Million People

As part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, Stroud Water Research Center will help guide an effort to enhance citizen-science volunteer monitoring of water quality in eight regional subwatersheds in the Delaware River basin. More than 5 percent of the U.S. population gets their drinking water from the Delaware River basin.

Steve Kerlin teaching in the outdoor classroom

Field-Based Learning at the Stroud Center’s New Outdoor Classroom

There’s just something about going outside. It’s fun. It lowers stress levels. It helps students focus. And it’s a great way to learn about freshwater science. For these reasons and more, we’ve made field-based learning an integral part of our education programs — now enhanced by an engaging outdoor classroom that lets visitors explore White Clay Creek, the research stream that runs behind our offices.

Steve Groff

Cover Cropping Series Starts

Sunn Hemp Acts as Covered Bridge Between Sweet Corn, Broccoli is the first of three columns about farmers who are being coached by cover crop innovator Steve Groff. Supported by the Stroud Center, the series builds on our ongoing work with farmers and landowners to protect, restore, and monitor the long-term health of streams.

Science Education Monthly Feature: Fish Electroshocking to Determine Stream Health

Have you ever wondered what swims by your feet in your local creek? In this month’s episode of Science Education Monthly Feature, Dr. Valerie Ouellet uses electroshocking to identify the creatures swimming in the White Clay Creek (Pennsylvania).

We’ll be adding videos regularly to this YouTube playlist. Subscribe to our channel to be notified of new videos!

UpStream 2016 Issue #3 Now Available

  • Students Nationwide Model Their Watersheds, Solve Environmental Challenges
  • Stroud Team Helps Discover Species Diversity in State and National Parks
  • Conservation Awards Given to Stroud Center and Deep Roots Valley Farm
  • Welcome Summer Interns!
  • Stroud Center Speaks on Water Scarcity at SFS Meeting
  • Volunteers Lend a Helping Hand

Stroud Center Helps at BioBlitz

Stroud Center entomology interns joined citizen scientists, students, and partner organizations at the Centennial BioBlitz at First State National Historical Park. U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI, center) and Chris Coons (DE, right) stopped by our table to learn about macroinvertebrates. See results slideshow

Stroud Center Featured in PSAs

CurrentCast is a syndicated podcast distributed to radio stations nationwide. You can listen to three 60-second public service announcements featuring Stroud Center science on their website: Small Streams: The Heart and Soul of Waterways Healthy Streams For Healthy Herds
Rock Snot Algae Smothers Streambeds

Model My Watershed Featured

A video about teaching environmental sustainability with our Model My Watershed web app is being featured as part of the NSF 2016 STEM For All Video Showcase. Visit the showcase page to watch the video. From May 17-24 you can cast a Public Choice vote for our video and ask questions about MMW.

New Mayfly Data Logger Board Available

Scientists at Stroud Center have developed a new Arduino-based datalogger board and it is now for sale on Amazon! It is similar to some of the boards we’ve used in the past but we added lots of new features and functionality to make it even easier to use. Read more on our EnviroDIY website

Brownie girl scouts working on badges

Scout Programs Now Available

Stroud Center’s education department is now offering programs for scouting groups. To request a program for your Cub Scout pack or Boy or Girl Scout troop, visit this link.

Our Rivers on Drugs

Emma Rosi-Marshall, Ph.D, of the Cary Institute visited the Stroud Center to speak about the problem of pharmaceutical contamination of our waterways. Read a lecture recap in Trying to stem flood of drugs in waterways” in Chadds Ford Live.

Photo of rusty crayfish.

Crayfish May Help Restore Dirty Streams, Stroud Study Finds

While macroinvertebrates are a tasty food source for crayfish, a new study reveals a surprising finding: When crayfish were present in in-stream experimental enclosures, macroinvertebrate density was higher, not lower.

Read more stories in our UpStream newsletters »