Life of a Creek: Aquatic Ecology Program

Did you know that Alabama is in the top five most bio-diverse states in the United States? Alabama is 1st in the U.S. for number of freshwater fish, mussels, snails, crayfish, and turtles! Even more importantly we depend on clean water for our survival, which is not possible without the aquatic ecosystems in our rivers, streams, and creeks! All of these amazing critters help insure we have clean water, so learning how to help them help us is vital to our own survival.

The Vermilion Darter (found only in Turkey Creek)

For our Life of a Stream program we introduce concepts associated with stream ecology, freshwater biodiversity, conservation, and biological assessment and how these concepts are important for us. We then explore how scientist monitor our aquatic systems through biological surveys (i.e. we catch some really cool critters).

Students will participate in fish seining and catching macro-invertebrates to assess the health and biodiversity of Turkey Creek. Afterwards we encourage participants to make critical examine what they have found and observed to determine the overall health of the ecosystem.

For pretty obvious reasons, this is by far our most popular program!

Appropriate age group: 3rd grade – College level

Since participants will be conducing aquatic surveys, everyone will be expected to come prepared to enter the water and get wet! Close toed shoes would be preferred, an old pair of tennis shoes or rain boots work well. A change of clothes is also suggested for after the program.

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