Aug. 3 Floating Classroom: Students study snakes, sing songs and learn more about the river's resources
More than 50 people participated in the second of the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper's Floating Classroom programs of the summer aboard the Hiawatha Paddleboat near Williamsport, PA.
The theme of the Aug. 3 session was "Snakes & Songs on the Susquehanna." Renowned snake expert Karl Miller, of Liberty, shared important facts about various snake species found throughout our watershed, introducing the students to three live specimens he brought on board. On the lower level, KJ Reimensnyder-Wagner led participants in a variety of water-based songs, sharing a message of conserving our aquatic resources.
Riverkeeper's note: This column was submitted by Rodney Englehardt, of Union County, Pennsylvania. Rodney is an avid angler, frequenting Penns Creek and other local bodies of water.
As a young man growing up in western Union County, as the calendar turned from February to March, I would start looking for the trout stocking schedules in The Daily Item (newspaper) as in those days, technology wasn’t prevalent like it is in this era and everything wasn’t at your fingertips like today.
Those days weren’t as complicated as things are today you could take your fishing rod and whatever bait you chose and go just about anywhere without hassle.
Waterway Exploration Training gets kids' feet 'wet' via macroinvertebrate search, enviroscape presentation
Fourteen young people -- and their families -- participated in a Waterway Exploration Training program provided by the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association in partnership with the R.B. Winter State Park.
Students began by taking a guided hike along Rapid Run, followed by a discussion on macroinvertebrates and some stream exploration looking for these important indicator species and wrapping up with a presentation on watersheds and pollution using an EnviroScape model.
"One moment that seems as thought the entire world makes sense but there also are millions of questions just waiting to be answered."
This is the moment that Jack Holt, professor of biology and co-organizer of Susquehanna University's Stream Ecology Institute, looks forward to witnessing each year.
"After taking measurements in the field and bringing them back to the laboratory the students began understanding their findings in a greater context," said Holt.
July 11th-17th, nine high school students participated in the 5th annual Stream Ecology Institute. In 2016, Mike Bilger and Jack Holt founded this educational experience wanting to share their passion for the field with the newest generation of ecologists. The Stream Ecology Institute is a pre-college program that "promotes long-term ecological studies to high school students."
"This program is an all-around field station experience that gives students the opportunity to get in the field and laboratory and take as much from the program as they want," said Mike Bilger, adjunct faculty in biology and co-organizer.
Two creeks flow steadily toward the North Branch of the Susquehanna River in the same general region of Northeast Pennsylvania.
One is stained such a bright shade of orange that it can be seen via the Google Earth mapping system. The other is an inviting crystal clear – with no visible unnatural coloration – mirroring what you’d expect in a glass of water you’re about to drink.
Yet, both waterways have elevated acidity loads, lack typical diversity of aquatic life and suffer from being victims of abandoned mine drainage issues – which impact 5,500 miles of documented streams in the state, and many more still to be recorded.
My name is Danielle Tryon and I am an intern for the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association this summer. I am a rising sophomore at Susquehanna University, double majoring in Environmental Science and Biology.
In addition to my studies I serve as the co-president for my school’s environmental club, I ride on the English equestrian team and work in the Office of Sustainability. As an introduction I thought I would bring you along with what made me fall in love with this field of study.
Registration open for Riverkeeper Waterway Exploration Training set for July 29 at R.B. Winter State Park
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association will hold a new Waterway Exploration Training (WET) educational experience from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at the R.B. Winter State Park in western Union County.
The program, designed for young people ages 8-12 and their families, will include a three-station rotation focused on introducing them to freshwater organisms, streams and watersheds, including how pollution can impact our ecosystem and how they can make positive changes at home.
Podcast: Intern Danielle Tryon talks about her environmental passions and what she hopes to accomplish
Susquehanna University rising sophomore Danielle Tryon is working through the month of July as an intern for our association. Learn more about her, what sparked her passion for the environment and what she has in store in this week's podcast
First Floating Classroom of 2021: More than 50 people learn about macroinvertebrates, aquatic issues
More than 50 people participated on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in the first of six Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association Floating Classroom programs aboard the Hiawatha Paddleboat near Williamsport.
Members of Dickinson College's ALLARM (Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring) team partnered with the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association to run the session, titled "Mind Your Macros!"
Group photo of Susquehanna University's Freshwater Research Institute (FRI) research professors and students who traveled to Loyalsock Creek.
This summer, Susquehanna University’s Freshwater Research Institute (FRI) has multiple students participating in internships and research. Salamander and fish studies, sediment analyses, wetland and stream restoration, and work with partner organizations of the FRI are some of their many projects.
Another was a habitat assessment research trip involving the Loyalsock Creek and its tributaries in Sullivan County of Pennsylvania. The Loyalsock is a 64-mile-long tributary of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Susquehanna professors Dr. Dan Ressler, Matt Wilson, and Dr. Tanya Matlaga and a group of research students spent a week studying the area this past month.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.