River Classroom Takes to the Lake

Last Wednesday we met with our 4th-6th grade River Classroom from Espanola. We took advantage of the gorgeous, warm weather and headed back up to the Rio Chama below Abiquiu Dam.

Using our new Kestrel to determine wind speed and temperature
Using our new Kestrel to determine wind speed and temperature

Last time we met, we didn’t have time to rotate through all of the groups, so we caught up and made sure that everybody was on the same page.

Making another watershed
Making another watershed
Learning how to use a GPS
Learning how to use a GPS

We also took our very first water quality readings on the Rio Chama. The river was surprisingly warm, and our numbers (especially for dissolved oxygen) were quite different than they tend to be during the winter. We’ll keep taking these measurements all year to develop a good record of water quality on the Rio Chama below Abiquiu Dam.

Measuring pH and conductivity
Measuring pH and conductivity
Measuring turbidity
Measuring turbidity
Recording our data
Recording our data

After all of this hard work, we headed up the hill and back to Abiquiu Lake, where our students got a quick introduction to kayaking and canoeing. Fortunately our good friends with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Abiquiu Lake were on hand to help us stay safe in the water by loaning us child-sized life jackets.

Our friends with the US Army Corps of Engineers talk about water safety.
Talking about water safety
Carrying boats down to the water
Carrying boats down to the water
It's not as easy as it looks on the first try!
It’s not as easy as it looks on the first try!

By the end of the day, everybody was doing a fantastic job in the water.

Paddling like a pro!
Paddling like a pro!

Collecting robust scientific data is one very important aspect of River Classroom, but we also strive to make sure that our students learn how to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the northern New Mexico landscape. The future depends on our students!

Christy

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