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Summer workshops at the Rice Center

August 12, 2010

The summer of 2010 has again been busy at the VCU Rice Center as multiple groups of teachers have spent time onsite gaining valuable hands-on experiences, which they will take back to enrich their classroom lessons in the fall.

The Wetlands, Watersheds and Water Quality workshop is one of the most popular and was held from June 28 to July 2. Ed Crawford and Jennifer Ciminelli worked with 11 teachers from Virginia and as far away as Michigan offering them extensive field activities within the Rice Center’s various wetland habitats. In addition to the 70 acre wetlands restoration area central to the property, these habitats include the Harris Creek tidal forest wetlands, the “living shoreline” along the James River, the non-tidal freshwater marsh near Route 5 and the vernal pools. Participants learned both high tech (GPS/GIS) and low tech methods to quantify wetland and upland habitats. They also explored and sampled water quality within a brackish water marsh (Taskinas Creek) at York River State Park, participated in an eagle/osprey/warbler tour around Presquile National Wildlife Refuge, investigated a successful forested riparian buffer restoration at Presquile and visited the Altria Park 500 Natural Treatment Wetlands where VCU researchers have worked to help construct wetlands to improve wastewater quality.

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