Stream Ecology

Stream Ecology

The quality of an aquatic ecosystem depends on many abiotic and biotic factors. The water may contain properties that cause stress to many organisms, or even cause them to disappear from the system all together. This field study will have students look at the health of an aquatic ecosystem. We will test Wascana Creek in two locations: before the stream enters the city and after the the water has passed through the city.  Students will try to determine why certain test results were found in the aquatic system looking at the land use in the area that drains into the creek. Data collection will include catching and identifying macroinvertebrates in the water, testing for turbidity, dissolved oxygen, nitrates and nitrites, phosphates, pH, temperature and rate of flow. We will discuss what these results mean for different organisms living in this aquatic area, as well as for the water we drink.

 Day of the Trip

This trip can be done as either a full day field trip or 2 half day trips.  The morning (or first day) will be spent at McKell Marsh on the east side of Regina studying Wascana Creek just as it enters the city.  The afternoon (or second day) will be spent at Wascana Trails which is west of Regina.  The same water tests and studies will be done at each location.  Results from the water tests can lead students to conclusions on what impact Regina has on Wascana Creek and therefore other communities downstream.  It is recommended that students have an extra pair of shoes or sandals along on this trip to wear in the water.

Great Links For Teachers:

10 Safe Drinking Water Lessons

Crapshoot: The Gamble With Our Wastes

Exellent Example of a Stream Study Guide

Yellow Fish Road Program - Great Post Field Trip Activitiy