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The Effect of Land Use on Water Quality

Student(s):Madison Sieg
Grade Level:Middle School (grades 6-8, ages 11-14)
GLOBE Teacher:Amy Woods
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report
Presentation Video: View Video
Presentation Poster: View Document
Optional Badges:Make An Impact, Be a STEM Professional
Date Submitted:03/03/2016
How does land usage affect the water quality of Rock Creek? The effect of land usage on the health of the stream was tested. The independent variable is the stream testing location.The dependent variables measured are dissolved oxygen, nitrates, pH, water temperature, conductivity, and water transparency over a period of five weeks.The controls are the day and time of testing, and how samples are collected and tested. Results were analyzed and compared to land use using FieldScope 5.0. The results support the hypothesis stating if the testing site is changed from rural upstream, upstream wastewater treatment plant, downstream wastewater treatment plant, and downstream rural that passed through town, then the chemical parameters that indicate stream health, would be in the healthiest range upstream rural because as the water is moving downstream into the city the stream may pick up more wastes and pollutants from the land use and other merging streams as it travels through the town. A future experiment involves extending the testing process to determine to track patterns in changes of season and specifically involving weather events and resulting land use, tracking rainfall, blasting, wastewater discharge, alkalinity, and evaluating stream and watershed geology.


Wow! This is a very thorough report. How did you like working with a local scientist? What did you learn from working with Lesa Bird that you had not learned in your science classes?
From Madison Sieg -

Thank you for reviewing my science fair project! I loved working with Mrs. Lesa Bird, a local scientist who works with Advancing Science and teaches at Gettysburg College, because she always teaches me something that I never knew before and she is always enthusiastic about what we are discussing. This experience taught me new ways to look at our environment, specifically looking at our local Gettysburg streams as contributing factors to the Chesapeake Bay. I was having difficulty determining where to test, and Mrs. Bird helped me by pointing out the location of the quarry and wastewater treatment plant. Other things I learned from Mrs. Bird that I had not yet learned in my regular science class were how to use the conductivity and pH meters, conduct the dissolved oxygen test, and use the transparency tube. Mrs. Bird also helped me find a clearer way to analyze and showcase my data by using a dual axis graph. Before this project I had not really heard of the dual axis graphs. Now that I know what they are and how to use them, I feel that I will have an easier time analyzing any future data that will come across my path. Working with Mrs. Bird also helped me learn more about how some of the land use in Gettysburg, specifically the wastewater treatment plant and quarry, could have a large impact on Rock Creek and how much of Gettysburg Rock Creek actually traveled through. I enjoyed sharing my data with her and getting her feedback on my results as well.