From the Potomac Headwaters to the Chesapeake Bay



Stream Scholars

Summer Camp 2010  

July 19-23


Other Years: 2003  2004  2005   2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014

Ten middle and high school students enjoyed a week participating in the 8th Annual Stream Scholars Summer Camp, a hands-on exploration of stream ecology and conservation.   The Scholars became Certified WV Save Our Streams water monitors, visited Washington D.C. for a  sampling cruise on the Potomac, and camped on the Potomac River not far from where it meets the Chesapeake Bay.  They spent the first three days in and around Waites Run at J.A. Hawkins (Wardensville Town) Park.

Stream Scholars would like to thank:


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

*  Suzie Lucas for being a chaperone;

* The Chesapeake Bay Foundation for the sampling trip on the lower Potomac;

WV Conservation Agency, MARPAT Foundation and our members for financial support.

The Scholars conducted stream habitat assessments and used field equipment to measure pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen, an important indicator of suitable habitat for aquatic life.  On Monday, Alana Hartman, WV DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Coordinator, and WVDEP intern Suzie Lucas spoke to the youth about what the DEP is doing to protect local waters that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.  She also discussed her career and opportunities in biology and science.  On Tuesday Tim Craddock, WV DEP’s Citizens Monitoring Coordinator for the WV Save Our Streams Program, led the training and the stream investigation.  The Scholars investigated how the population of benthic macroinvertebrates (small animals without backbones that live on the stream bottom) will show if a stream is healthy or in trouble.
This year saw a return to the camper led investigations that were a hallmark of Stream Scholars' early years (before we started going down to the Bay), and Wednesday was devoted to mini-projects designed by the campers.  Studies varied from investigations of dissolved oxygen levels in different parts of the stream at different times of day (below left), assessments of crawfish population structure in different stream habitats (below right), and fish studies.  At the end of the day, each group presented their results to their peers, who were more than happy to offer peer reviews of their work.

On Thursday the Scholars headed to Washington D.C. for an afternoon trip on the Susquehanna, a 42’ research vessel of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.  The Scholars cruised the Potomac River in the heart of Washington in view of the Washington Monument, past Reagan International Airport and the U.S. Army War College.  Then they went past the Blue Plains Waste Water Treatment Plant, that treats and discharges all the waste water for D.C. and some of the surrounding area.  It is one of the largest treatment plants in the United States.  Across the River, away from the treatment plan, Scholars took water samples and measurements, and explored the results of a fish trawl.

Thursday night the Scholars camped at Westmoreland State Park, Virginia, on the lower tidal section of the Potomac River not far from where it flows into the Chesapeake Bay.  It is always fun to watch the kids with the biggest, most complex tents work out how to put them up.

On Friday the Scholars visited the shore of the Potomac near a tidal marsh.  Nearly four miles across at this point, the Potomac River couldn't be more different than tiny Waites Run in West Virginia, where the week began.   

The Scholars all had fun, of course, but what is more important they learned serious lessons about the science of keeping our waters clean and healthy.  Grasping science early will help Stream Scholars in life.  Understand and appreciating how our local West Virginia waters are connected to the Mid Atlantic States through the Potomac and Chesapeake will help them become better citizen of the whole United States.


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.