THS students study Richland Creek

By Carrie Sutton | Oct 10, 2016
Students in Susanne Miller's earth/environmental science class teamed up with Cindy Shipman's EC class to study Richland Creek.

Tuscola High School students have been wading the waters and studying the health of Richland Creek over the past several weeks.


The outings to Richland Creek bring curriculum to life in Susanne Miller’s earth/environmental science classes.  Students learned to determine stream velocity, discharge, slope of the channel, depth, and width.


As students traversed the creek, they searched for macroinvertebrates, including water penny beetles and caddisflies.


The water chemistry was also tested during the students’ several trips to Richland Creek. Temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, presence of E. coli, nitrates, and phosphates were all observed. Students also took note of the suspended and bedload sediment.


During Miller’s second trip to the creek, her students teamed up with Cindy Shipman’s Exceptional Children (EC) class to discuss the creek’s ecosystem.


“Surface water studies is an integral part of our curriculum,” Miller explained. “By having my students teach Ms. Shipman's students, my students reinforced what they learned on their first trip. Both classes worked well together, and I look forward to having them on future trips.”


Based on the tests and physical conditions observed by the students, they determined that Richland Creek is healthy.


The creek studies were funded in large part by Pigeon River fund grants written in conjunction with geoscientists from Western Carolina University.