AUWRC Field Experiences Updates

Starting Spring Semester 2018, the Auburn University Water Resources Center (AUWRC) began offering field-based experiences for Auburn University classes. Our goal for the field experiences was to offer opportunities for experiential learning and to supplement traditional classroom education through outdoor experiences related to student coursework.

The pilot semester for the field experiences has been a success! AUWRC had the opportunity to work with College of Architecture, Design and Construction Adjunct Professor Dan Ballard and his Landscape Architecture Hydrologies course, College of Engineering Professor Dr. Lauren Beckingham and her Introduction to Environmental Engineering lab group, and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Professor Dr. Christopher Anderson and his Natural Resources Field Methods class. In total, we reached over 70 students.

The students got a brief demonstration in AWW bacteriological and stream biomonitoring monitoring methods and then went out in the stream to try it out for themselves. Check out some photos below to see all the neat critters (aka benthic macroinvertebrates – a bio-indicator used to assess water quality) we caught with the classes!

Stream biomonitoring supplies: kick nets, d-frame dip nets, sorting trays, forceps, pipettes, and ID keys ready to scoop up some critters!

 

Students sort critters into pans for identification.

 

Time to net up! After a brief demonstration of the sampling techniques, students get into teams to see what they can discover.

 

Let’s take a look at the critters! 

Spiny softshell turtle caught with Dr. Anderson’s class – so cute!

 

The sample sites were loaded with Hellgrammites! Hellgrammites are fierce aquatic predators, and are even referred to as the “T-Rex” of macroinvertebrates!

Alabama has 97 known native species of freshwater crayfish!

Join us in the Summer and Fall Semesters! Applications for Summer Semester Field Experiences are now open. Spots are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

 

We’ll see y’all in the field!

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