For Teachers:
Water Quality Curricula
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Monitoring

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Volunteer Stream Monitoring Partnership Guide to Volunteer Stream Monitoring - Where do I start? Download this excellent guide. First it will help you decide the level at which to approach monitoring. Then use the guide's comprehensive workbook of step-by-step activities to develop an appropriate water quality monitoring design. Go to www.vsmp.org, then click on Educational Materials.

Monitoring Networks - If possible, join an existing monitoring network. Some of these groups support specific curricula. To find out where and how each network operates, browse the sites listed at Water Quality Monitoring Resource Organizations.

Choose Water Quality Monitoring Curriculum:
These guides will help you choose the best water quality monitoring curricula for your needs.

  • Curriculum Ratings for Macroinvertebrate Monitoring. By Tricia Mangold-Heiser. Rates ten top water quality curricula based on how well they support the essential components of biological water quality monitoring (design, execution, analysis, reporting, and response to biological monitoring).
  • Overall Curriculum Ratings: Volunteer Stream Monitoring Partnership's Curriculum Guide for Secondary School Students rates ten top water curricula for overall quality according to the standards of the North American Association for Environmental Education. By Trishia Mangold-Heiser.

Grades K-2:

  • Environmental Resource Guide:
    "Pond Scum," p. 41, observe types and effects of pollution. Wonders of Wetlands: Many excellent lessons related to aquatic habitat.
  • Project WET:
    "Stream Sense," p. 191, basic stream reconnaissance.

Grades 3-5:

  • Project WET:
    "Stream Sense," p. 191, basic stream reconnaissance. "Macroinvertibrate Mayhem," p. 322, biological monitoring.
  • The Water Sourcebook:
    "Wetland in a Bottle," p. 2-63, model wetland as filter. "Living in Water," p. 3-13, model pond ecosystem. "Wonderful, Waterful Wetlands," p. 5-1, model filtering function of wetlands.
  • Aquatic Wild:
    "The Glass Menagerie," p. 130, model impacts of nutrient pollution. "Water Canaries," p. 38, sample aquatic organisms. "Micro Odyssey," p. 64, observe aquatic organisms. "Fishy Who's Who," p. 86, local fish populations.
  • Bottle Biology:
    "TerrAqua Column, p. 61, model impacts of various nutrients on lake ecology.
  • The Teaching Tank:
    "Fertilizer Pollution," model impacts of nutrients. "Macro-Pond Life," model impacts of nutrients.
  • Wonders of Wetlands:
    Many excellent lessons related to aquatic habitat.

Grades 6-8:

  • Environmental Resource Guide:
    "The Temperature's Rising," p. 27, test water temperature. "That Settles It," p. 15, test water clarity.
  • The Water Sourcebook:
    "Nutrients and Water Quality," p. 1-23, model pollutants. "Indicating Insects," p. 2-55, biological monitoring. "Bioassessment of Streams, p. 3-1, biological water testing. "Algae Growth," p. 3-19, nutrient pollution experiment. "Using Topo Maps and Data Tables to Determine Surface Water Quality," p. 3-47.
  • Aquatic Wild:
    "Water Canaries," p. 38, sample aquatic organisms. "Micro Odyssey," p. 64, observe aquatic organisms. "Fishy Who's Who," p. 86, local fish populations.
  • Project WET:
    "Macroinvertibrate Mayhem," p. 322, biological monitoring.
  • Bottle Biology:
    "TerrAqua Column, p. 61, model impacts of various nutrients on lake ecology.
  • The Teaching Tankô:
    "Fertilizer Pollution," model impacts of nutrients. "Macro-Pond Life," model impacts of nutrients.
  • Wonders of Wetlands:
    Many excellent lessons related to aquatic habitat.
  • Full Option Science System:
    Environments module, model habitats.

Grades 9-12:

  • Minnesota's Flowing Waters: A Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Curriculum, by Tricia Mangold Heiser and Elisabeth Young-Isebrand. (2002). Hennipin Conservation District, River Watch. Unit activities include assessments, exploring the river ecosystem, and investigating human impacts and interventions. 37 pages.
  • Aquatic Wild:
    "Water Canaries," p. 38, sample aquatic organisms. "Micro Odyssey," p. 64, observe aquatic organisms. "Fishy Who's Who," p. 86, local fish populations.
  • Environmental Resource Guide:
    "Pollution P.I.," p. 41, analyze simulated pollution data. "Fed Up," p. 55, nutrient impacts on water quality. "It's Sedimentary, My Dear Watson," p. 69, study sediments. "Wasted Waters," p. 93, test for bacterial pollution. "R.I.P. Rain," p. 131, acid rain impact demonstration. "Lethal Lot," p. 139, bioassay to determine runoff toxicity.
  • The Water Sourcebook:
    "Water Chemistry Checkup," p. 1-185, test water quality. "How Are Detection Limits Set for Water Pollutants?" p. 2-55, demonstrate methods used to calculate detection limits. "What Is In Source Water?" p. 2-65, biological water test. "Catch Me If You Can: Two Ways to Measure Stream Flow," p. 3-7. "Biodiversity = Water Quality," p. 3-29, biological testing. "Pollutants: How Much Total or How Much Per Unit of Water?" p. 3-53. "What are Fecal Coliforms and How Are They Related to Water Quality?" p. 3-63, "Turbidity," p. 3-71, measure and explore effects of turbidity. "Thermal Pollution," p. 3-89, measure temperature and dissolved oxygen. "Wetlands USA, More Than Swamps!" p. 5-25, model wetlands.
  • Wonders of Wetlands: Many excellent lessons related to aquatic habitat.

Other Curriculum Resources

Project How-To's - For ideas and step-by-step instructions on how to organize soil testing, go to the Service-Learning Projects page.

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