Appalachian Watershed Research Group

January 1, 2011

The Appalachian Watershed Research Group was initiated ten years ago by a group of Ohio University faculty and staff from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The group provides interdisciplinary, high-quality, applications-based watershed research for the benefit of the region. These research projects are designed to provide students with innovative learning opportunities while also solving real-world problems.

Core competencies of this group include stream water chemistry monitoring, fish and invertebrate assessment, fluvial geomorphology, sediment studies; stream attainment analyses, load/concentration calculations, and the linking of data to decision-making tools through the use of reports, charts, maps and graphs. The group also provides related training for watershed officials, wildlife professionals, and local government entities. Most activities are customized, in collaboration with stakeholders, to meet their needs. Wherever possible, the group strives to include students in the project work as a means for providing them with experience that demonstrates teamwork, builds leadership skills, and integrates teaching and learning.

The Appalachian Watershed Research Group has a history of providing technical assistance to watershed groups throughout Appalachia Ohio, primarily focusing on the detrimental impact to streams from abandoned coal mines. Watershed groups in this area have benefited from Ohio University student, faculty, and Voinovich School staff research, water quality data collection and analysis leading to acid mine drainage abatement and treatment (AMDAT) plans, geographical information systems (GIS) mapping, development and creation of water quality database systems, creation of watershed websites, and watershed coordination.

A couple of examples of Appalachian Research Watershed Group projects include:

  • The Raccoon Creek Watershed Project. The coordinator position is sponsored by Ohio University and housed in the Environmental Management Program at the Voinovich School. The Raccoon Creek Watershed has had nine successfully completed acid mine drainage reclamation projects resulting in twenty-two miles of stream recovery.

    For more information about the Raccoon Creek Watershed Project, please visit www.raccooncreek.org.

  • The Nonpoint Source (NPS) annual monitoring reporting system. This system for acid mine drainage reclamation involves Voinovich School staff, faculty and students. The project includes providing training to area watershed groups on chemical and biological collection methods and developing an online database system to store, edit, and download water quality data in order to evaluate the success of the acid mine drainage reclamation projects in term of stream miles recovery, acid load reductions, and project costs. Three levels of reports are generated to summarize this information. In addition, GIS maps of color-coded stream miles show the change in stream health from the past to the present.

    For more information about the Nonpoint Source Monitoring Annual Reporting System, please visit www.watersheddata.com.

For more information contact: Jennifer Bowman, bowmanj2@ohio.edu, 740-597-3101


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