“What’s Happening in the Watershed” Program Creates Outdoor Classroom

The protected wetland ecosystem of each research reserve provides an ideal outdoor classroom. Students are able to participate in fieldwork, interact with practicing scientists, gain access to local data, and get a firsthand view of local coastal management challenges.

At the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, a middle school initiative focused on the importance of a healthy Lake Erie. Students learned how water flows through the watershed and how land use within a watershed impacts water quality.

Extensive fieldwork was involved. The students documented their experiences using a variety of media, including digital cameras, Go-Pro video cameras, aerial photographs and videos, field journals, and data sheets. Data analysis done by the students was e-published within an iBook via Apple products. This experience is providing the knowledge, skill, and motivation students need to spark positive change in their watersheds. (2016)

Partners: Huron City School District, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve