From the Potomac Headwaters to the Chesapeake Bay



Stream Scholars

Summer Camp 2008  

July 21 - 25


Other Years: 2003  2004  2005   2006  2007  2009   2010

2011  2012  2013  2014

Stream Scholars would like to thank:

*  Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito and Senator Rockefeller for meeting with the Stream Scholars in Washington DC; 

*  Senator Byrd for offering a tour of his DC office and a meeting with his staff.

*  Bob Mayhew, Mayhew Chevrolet (Romney), for donating use of a van;

*  Jennifer Titus for being a chaperone;

*  Tim Craddock and Alana Hartman, WV Department of Environmental Protection, for instruction and guidance; and,

*  Jackie Takacs for instruction on estuary biology;


The WV Commission for National and Community Service, WV Conservation Agency, MARPAT Foundation and our members for financial support.

Seven middle and high school students enjoyed a week in July participating in the 6th Annual Stream Scholars Summer Camp, a hands-on exploration of stream ecology and conservation.  We studied a WV stream, worked in CI's water quality laboratory, visited Washington D.C., cruised the Bay on a research vessel, and dug through slimy black muck dredged from the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Scholars spent the first three days in and around Waites Run at the Wardensville Town Park. 

On Monday they were joined by Alana Hartman, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Potomac Basin Coordinator, who spoke about the importance of studying biology and about career opportunities for scientists.  Scholars conducted stream habitat assessments and used field equipment to measure dissolved oxygen, an important indicator of suitable habitat for aquatic life.  The also took water samples to Cacapon Institute's laboratory and performed chemical analyses. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday they investigated how the population of benthic macroinvertebrates can tell if a stream is healthy or in trouble (to see some of the small animals without backbones that live on the stream bottom click here).  Tim Craddock, WVDEP’s Citizens Monitoring Coordinator for the WV Save Our Streams Program, worked with CI staff to provide the training and guided the stream investigation. 

Stream Scholars is part of Cacapon Institute's Potomac Headwaters Leaders of Watersheds program, one of several Future Leaders of Watersheds programs funded by the WV Commission for National and Community Service.  During Tim's training the Scholars were joined by two Girl Scouts of Shawnee Council who have been involved in a long term monitoring project for Waites Run that is another Future Leaders of  Watersheds program.

Tim was able to compare data taken this year with other data going back to 1997.  Waites Run remains a very healthy stream.  That is due in part to the good stewardship of Wardensville Town Park.  They are protecting Waites Run from pollution by not cutting the forest that grows along the stream bank. This ribbon of thick forest, known as a riparian buffer, between the park grounds and the stream, protects Waites Run by reducing erosion, filtering pollution before it reaches the stream, and providing shade for the stream.



On Thursday the Scholars headed to Washington D.C. for a day packed with activities.  They first participated in a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant award ceremony, where CI received a grant in support of our deer fencing experiment.  The event included a ceremonial tree planting by the kindergarten students of Tyler Elementary School on Capital Hill.  Our Stream Scholars did much of the heavy work to help the little kids out. 

During the ceremony, Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito stopped by to wish the Scholars well, thank them for their efforts, and encourage them to continue their community service.

After the award ceremony the Scholars had an opportunity to meet Senator Rockefeller in his office.  The Senator listened to stories about what the Scholars had been doing and shared some jokes before taking a group photo.  Patrick T. Bond, one of the Senator's Legislative Aides, discussed current events with the Scholars in the Senator's conference room. 

The Scholars also meet Caryn E. Compton, Senator Byrd's Legislative Counsel and liaison for interior affairs.  Caryn  discussed the Senator's intentions regarding the upcoming debate about offshore drilling, and some other pressing legislative affairs.  We then visited Senator Byrd's office, a virtual museum to his many years of service to West Virginia. 

It was a thrill to meet our elected representatives and learn more about how government works. 

We cannot thank Congresswoman Capito, Senator Rockefeller, and Senator Byrd's staff enough for their time and attention.

Thursday night we camped at Point Lookout State Park, Maryland, where the Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay.  After making dinner, we played on the pier and saw some of the Bay’s inhabitants like jellyfish and crabs.

On Friday the Steam Scholars visited the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biology Laboratory and took a trip on the Research Vessel Aquarius, a 53 ton, 65 foot long ship equipped with a laboratory and an impressive array of scientific equipment.  The students were guided on a two hour tour by Education Specialist Jackie Takacs, winner of the 2005-2006 Outstanding Sea Grant Extension Program Award by the Mid-Atlantic Sea Grant Extension Programs.  While aboard, the Scholars netted fish, trolled for plankton, sampled the river bottom, dredged for oysters, and utilized an $80,000 water sampler to test for temperature, salinity and other factors at various depths.

We all had fun, of course, but what is more important we learned serious lessons about the science of keeping our waters clean and healthy.  Grasping science early will help Stream Scholars in life.  Learning about how government works and the importance of service will make the Scholars better citizens. 

Next school year some Stream Scholars will continue their activities with Cacapon Institute in the Potomac Headwaters Leaders of Watershed program.  PHLOW offers student leaders special lessons on watershed science and works with them to develop their own watershed protection projects. 

By learning about and protecting our watersheds, the area of land that delivers water to streams and rivers, the young leaders will help keep West Virginian’s waters safe, clean, and beautiful - and help do our part in protecting the Bay.



Cacapon Institute - From the Cacapon to the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay, we protect rivers and watersheds using science and education.

Cacapon Institute
PO Box 68
High View, WV 26808
304-856-1385 (tele)
304-856-1386 (fax)
Click here to send us an email
Frank Rodgers,  Executive Director

Website  made possible by funding from The Norcross Wildlife Foundation,  the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Virginia Environmental Endowment, NOAA-BWET, USEPA, The MARPAT Foundation, and our generous members.