The automated Mayfly sensors purchased with grants from The North Face® Explore Grant and the WV Department of Environmental Protection have been successfully programmed and assembled. Thanks to Northern Garret High School’s AP Biology class and Alderson Broaddus University’s hydrology and environmental club students, these sensors are ready to be deployed out into the field this summer and fall.
Alderson Broaddus’ Dr. Brandi Gaertner and one environmental science student came out in late June and helped us identify some of the best locations along the North Fork and Beaver Creek for the sensors to be placed. We practiced mounting one sensor in Middle Run, a tributary of the North Fork- careful to secure it in the stream bank and the sensor firmly in the stream. Connecting the sensors to laptops in the field proved successful and showed just how user friendly these Mayfly sensors are. The Alderson Broaddus folks also assisted with the summer quarterly monitoring at seven different locations along the North Fork. We had a fun day out on the water- hopefully this is the first of many watershed days with Alderson Broaddus!
Implementing this technology within our current monitoring strategies will not only save time and effort, but it will also give us a much more accurate and holistic picture of the health of our creeks. Our hope is be able to continually involve students with this project, as well as the rest of the Blackwater community. This project, as well as those focused specifically in North Fork and Beaver Creek remediation, has the potential to create a number of educational opportunities. If you are interested in helping out with water testing, sensor check-ups, or simply want to know more about the state of our watersheds, please don’t hesitate to contact our watershed project manager at [email protected].
Thank you to all of the Friends of Blackwater supporters who help make sure that all three of these projects are a reality!