Georgia Adopt-A-Stream has recognized the Richmond Hill Middle School field-studies group with the Extraordinary Volunteer Watershed Effort Award, according to a news release.
Led by seventh-grade life-science teacher Bob Hodgdon, the group consists of sixth- through 12th-grade students, parents and staff who conduct Adopt-A-Stream water-quality monitoring as well as participate in other real-life scientific studies.
More than 15 members are certified in coastal chemical and bacterial monitoring and have adopted six monitoring sites along the Ogeechee River and in Fort McAllister State Park. Their monitoring has led to the identification for elevated E. coli and phosphate levels within a tributary of the Ogeechee River.
In addition to water-quality monitoring, the group conducts plant, biomass and macroinvertebrate studies at the Savannah Wildlife Refuge, participates in Eastern indigo snake surveys on Fort Stewart, and helps with many other terrestrial and aquatic animal studies.
The group has raised more than $6,000 toward the purchase of field equipment for its projects and is currently fundraising to buy more advanced sensor equipment to capture more precise data and automatically update that data directly to a computer.
The data the students collect will be shared with their partners, and the water-quality data is available on the Adopt-A-Stream website.
Group participants are students Caroline Cox, Bailey Pelletier, Jesse Freeze, Kelly Gavin, Caroline Scooler, Patricia George, Lydia Porter, Katie Bacon, Tristan Kaufman, Katherine Stigall, Garrett Stigall, Robert Pecenka and Jacqueline GaNun; parents Marjorie Freeze, Sandra Gavin, Kiersten Scooler, Maike George, Lisa Conti-Bacon, Louis Kaufman, Greg Stigall, Sherri Jones and Shannon GaNun; and staff members Catherine Warren and Robert Hodgdon.
For more information, call the Environmental Protection Division’s Adopt-A-Stream state office at 404-463-1511 or go to www.GeorgiaAdoptAStream.org.