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Schoolchildren Learn About the Environment Firsthand

TitleSchoolchildren Learn About the Environment Firsthand
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at
Date Original2004-10-12
Summary/DescriptionLake Tahoe Report Segment #88 - "Marine Research and Education" (Air Date: October 12, 2004). Jenny Francis from the Marine Research and Education, Inc. discusses how that agency is working with volunteers and elementary school students to monitor water clarity.
SubjectScience -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
Water quality -- Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
LocationLake Tahoe (Calif. and Nev.)
Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
CollectionThe Lake Tahoe Report
Original PublisherLake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (
Electronic PublisherUniversity of Nevada, Reno - Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Ordering and Permissions InformationFor more information, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, or 775-832-4138.
Date Digital2005-03-14
RelationRequires Windows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionSegment 88: Marine Research and Education Air Date: October 12, 2004 Tease @ 25:27 "You won't believe what kind of aquatic life is in Lake Tahoe 200 feet down. I'm Shelly Purdy, I'll tell you all about it in the Lake Tahoe Report." Anchor Intro: Third, fifth and sixth graders from throughout Northern Nevada and California are getting a unique opportunity to do some hands-on research at Lake Tahoe. Shelly Purdy has details in tonight's Lake Tahoe Report. ((Take PKG)) ((nats boat heading out)) ((Track 1)) It's a sportfishing boat most of the year, but during the spring and fall the boat turns into a floating classroom. Today's students are all adults...out here training to be a part of the South Lake Tahoe Clean Water Team. ((sot @ 21:22 Jenny Francis, Marine Research and Education, Inc.)) "That's a volunteer effort where people are coming out on a regular basis and doing different kinds of water quality and clarity monitoring." ((track 2)) They go through the steps of taking various water quality measurements. First, by lowering a net 200 feet down in the water to collect plankton. The plankton are used as a biological measurement. Since plankton feed on algae, too many means there is a lot of algae in the water. The group also measures the ph of the water, the temperature and the amount of dissolved oxygen. They then take a secchi disk reading. ((sot @ 11:32)) "All it is is a white disk and we attach it to our downrigger and lower it down and you guys will all be looking off the side and when you can't see it anymore just tell me to stop and we take two measurements and average the two." ((track 3)) That average equals the clarity of the water. All the information collected here is recorded and shared with the various regulatory agencies working here at Lake Tahoe. The information is used as baseline data. If, at some point, they discover a problem...corrective steps can be taken. Though training clean Water Team volunteers is a vital part of this program, getting kids out on the lake is really what the Marine Research and Education program is all about. ((s/u @ 24:46 Shelly Purdy)) "The main thrust of the program is to get kids out on the lake to learn about Lake Tahoe, but with school budget cuts it's difficult to get kids out here on field trips. That's why they're looking for businesses to adopt a class or provide scholarship money." ((sot @ 23:53)) "I would love to get more businesses to adopt a class to help these students for their $10 per person fee to afford these field trips. Because they've had a lot of their budget cut for field trips and place based education from where they live is very important if we want to create stewards and have responsible adults that want to stick around." ((track 4)) It's a small investment that pays big returns. With the Lake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition, I'm Shelly PUrdy for KOLO NC8. Anchor Tag: The field trips are available to any third, fifth or sixth grade class. If you or your business is interested in sponsoring a class to participate in the Marine Research and Education Program, visit our website for more information.

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