Leaf Pack Connects Students with Nature
Photo: Charlie Graham
A partnership between Stroud Water Research Center and National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is helping more students and teachers connect with nature and investigate their local stream ecosystems using the Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit.
Developed by the Center, the Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit is a hands-on scientific stream-testing kit that measures the numbers and kinds of insects and other invertebrates in streams to determine overall water quality. Read more or shop for kits.
Susquehanna Bank Supports Freshwater Education
Photo: Kay Dixon
Thanks to Susquehanna Bank for supporting freshwater education with their generous PA EITC donation. Donations through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program help us make school programs, field trips, and professional development workshops available to students and teachers.
Latest Edition of Upstream Now Online
- Remembering Ruth Patrick
- eDNA Could Help Build Mussel Strength in Streams
- A Stroud and NWF Partnership Helps More Students Connect With Nature
- Staff Spotlight: Sherman Roberts and Michael Gentile
- An Evening in Review: Chasing Ice
Upstream Newsletter keeps you informed about the Center’s latest freshwater science and education news. We send Upstream as a e-newsletter prior to posting it on our website. Get Upstream in your inbox — subscribe now!
Center Hosts International Visitors
Center scientists presented a water resources protection program as part of the U.S. State Department International Visitors Leadership Program.
The group included visitors from Bangladesh, Chile, Egypt, India, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Marshall Islands, Palestinian Territories, Phillipines, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, People’s Republic of China, and Yemen.
The Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the water resources protection program:
- To review U.S. efforts to protect the quantity and quality of surface and groundwater supplies for a variety of competing uses at local, state, national and international scales;
- To assess U.S. trans-boundary water management programs for shared water resources and discuss cooperative strategies to establish regional and global dialogues on shared resources conflicts and concerns;
- To identify institutional capacities and reforms needed to develop and implement integrated water programs that address the effects of climate change and adaptation challenges;
- To examine innovative financial, scientific and technical strategies for monitoring, assessing and conserving water resources.
After an overview of the Center’s watershed restoration and research programs, the group toured our facilities and our experimental watershed.
Healthy Population of Mussels Discovered in Brandywine Creek
In the 1800s, freshwater mussels were so abundant in the streams of Chester County that you could cross a stream on their backs. The county was being overrun by malacologists (mussels scientists) and in 1911 the White Clay Creek in Avondale was at the center of multiple controversies regarding mussel identification and distribution. Now, only two species are known to persist in the Brandywine Creek, and freshwater mussels may be completely absent from the Red Clay and White Clay Creeks.
When Center scientists recently came across a healthy population of Elliptio complanata (pictured) in the Brandywine Creek watershed, it raised our hopes that more yet to be discovered populations may persist.
Center scientist Willy Eldridge is using funding from Dupont Clear into the Future to develop a technique to test for the presence of freshwater mussels simply by sampling the water. The technique relies on detecting the DNA in free floating cells that have sloughed off a mussel. Once the technique has been optimized, it will be used to locate other remnant populations and to determine if any of the other four mussels species that were here historically persist.
Eldridge Awarded Grant To Develop DNA Tools To Find Rare Mussels
Organisms are constantly releasing DNA into the water, such as when cells slough off. This DNA may be detected in the water for up to two weeks.
Center Welcomes Newest Member of Scientific Team
The Center welcomes Melinda Daniels, Ph.D., to its scientific team. Dr. Daniels comes to us from Kansas State University; her research interests include fluvial geomorphology, hydrology and stream ecosystem ecology of both “natural” and human-modified river systems from reach to watershed scales. She has been studying how beaver dams impact river ecosystem processes.