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USIBWC CRP Collaboration with EPCC Service Learning Program

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Service Learning Program Cooperating Entity, 2010-2013. USIBWC CRP is collaborating with EPCC to create hands-on learning experiences for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students by providing opportunities such as water quality monitoring, outreach presentations, the creation of watershed education materials, and river cleanups through USIBWC's Adopt-A-River Program. This 3 year project with include training for faculty on integrating the experiences into the classroom to meet curriculum objectives. For more information on the EPCC SLP, visit the EPCC SLP website. Below we have listed the ways that EPCC Service Learning students and teachers can get involved with IBWC CRP:

USIBWC Clean Rivers Program Service Learning Projects

  • Water quality monitoring: Assist USIBWC staff to monitor water quality and collect water quality samples. IBWC staff sample about 12-18 times a year in the El Paso/Hudspeth/Doña Ana counties. Students can accompany USIBWC staff, learn how to operate the monitoring equipment and assist in data collection. Routinely collect samples for nutrients, salts, bacteria. Field parameters include pH, DO, conductivity, temperature. Some field events will include measuring flow or dissolved metals sampling with field-filtering kits. (1 to 4 people, advance notice of participation required)
    • Anthony Drain & Vinton, TX sampling – 4 times a year
    • Fabens & San Elizario, TX sampling with UTEP – 4 times a year
    • El Paso, TX & Sunland Park, NM sampling – 6 to 12 times a year with EPCC RISE Program
  • USIBWC Adopt-a-River program: EPCC has adopted a 2-mile section of the river from Borderland Bridge to Canutillo Bridge in the Upper Valley of El Paso, TX. Service Learning Program students can organize 2-4 cleanups per year to fulfill the requirements of the USIBWC Adopt-a-River Program (AAR). Students can coordinate with the EPCC AAR coordinator (Dr. Naomi Waissman, Transmountain Campus, Biology) to organize the cleanups themselves, including setting a time and date and notifying USIBWC AAR Coordinator (E. Verdecchia) of the chosen date. USIBWC Field Offices assists with disposing of trash and USIBWC Clean Rivers Program can provide gloves and trash bags if needed. SLP students can also request minigrants for gloves, trash bags and other cleanup supplies. Recommend 5 to 100 people.
  • River Cleanups: Students can organize a river cleanup at various locations along the river, in coordination with USIBWC CRP. This can be at a different, not associated with the Adopt-a-River Program. USIBWC can assist with disposing of trash and USIBWC CRP can provide gloves and trash bags. Can be in coordination with USIBWC CRP. Recommend 5 to 100 people.
  • Creation of outreach materials: motivated, creative students can compile watershed outreach materials such as posters, brochures, websites, videos. USIBWC can assist in providing information, videos and photographs that students can use to assemble outreach materials. Objective is to have a variety of materials to discuss the importance of the river to our health and environment, the significance of water quality to everyone, and the river ecosystem in general. Students can take scientific knowledge and present it to various audiences, from the general public to school children to more technically-trained students and professionals in the water field. This activity is flexible and any ideas are welcomed and encouraged.
    Examples:
    • Videos – stormwater, about the Clean Rivers Program, about the Rio Grande, about IBWC, watershed basics, flora and fauna of the Rio Grande watershed
      • Documentaries - Some useful videos would include an introduction of USIBWC CRP, a documentary about the Rio Grande, or a documentary on local water quality issues. Helpful resources include our Video Gallery website and EPA's Water Quality Video Contest and the winning videos which are posted on YouTube and linked here:
        http://www.epa.gov/owow_keep/videocontest.html
    • Brochures – how the public can help save the Rio Grande, flora and fauna of the Rio Grande,
    • Website – flora and fauna of the Rio Grande Basin, facts about the Rio Grande watershed, photo gallery expansion, other watershed information.
    • Summary Reports – summarize certain aspects of our annual basin reports for the public, such as a summary of water quality data in the El Paso area; Executive summary of annual reports
  • Scientific Reports and Literature Reviews – students interested in reading scientific literature about the watershed can help us by creating summary reports of journal articles and scientific reports; literature review or bibliography of scientific literature in the basin; summarize research in certain water quality parameters (such as salinity) or research on plant and animal life.
  • Water quality and water cycle presentations: USIBWC CRP can train students to give presentations to local school classrooms on water quality, the water cycle, and other related topics. Presentations can include experiments on water quality using river water and tap water, for example. Recommend team presentation to grades 4-8 after being trained. Can include discussion of basic water quality parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, and bacteria.
  • Other outreach activities: As other outreach events come up, students can assist USIBWC staff by giving presentations, conducting water quality experiments at local health fairs, water festival presentations, and manning informational booths. Ex: Chihuahuan Desert Festival (September), Village of Vinton Health Fair (early October), El Paso TechH20 Center’s Water Festival (late October), Earth Day Fair at Fort Bliss (April)

Please contact us for more information.

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