Activities

Problem Identification Activity

(10 minutes)

Students are assigned to small groups; each group is assigned one of the four campus watersheds. Referring to the Watershed Management Plan, the PowerPoint, background readings, and the video, groups will assess their watershed regarding pollution, and answer the following questions:

  1. Is there evidence of problems (pollution, water quality, water quantity) in your stream/watershed?
  2. What source(s) are likely contributing to the issue(s)? How do you know?

Rubric: For question 1 look for answers that include sediment, toxic chemicals such as pesticides and heavy metals, nutrients such as fertilizers, stormwater runoff, fecal coliform from leaking sewer pipes or animal waste and evidence such as results of water quality monitoring and visual assessments.  For question 2 look for answers such as leaking sewer lines, pet waste, car oil tanks, construction runoff, etc.

 

Problem-Solving Activity II

Option A: Students are assigned to small groups; each group may be assigned one of the four campus watersheds. For the issues and/or solutions from the PowerPoint, and/or from the prior activities:

  • Develop a series of action steps to motivate the on-campus/student community to address a particular campus watershed concern
  • Develop a series of action steps to motivate the off-campus/general Athens community to address a particular campus watershed concern

Option B: Recall the first example of pollution from the PowerPoint. Students at UGA discovered leaking sewer lines that ran under Broad Street. Recall the second example of pollution from the PowerPoint. A major source of fecal coliform in our waterways is dog waste. Both of these types of pollution affect our watersheds here in Athens. Answer the following questions in small-group discussion and/or in writing.

 

  1. What is the difference between the two situations? Which is point source and which is nonpoint source?
  2. Does management of each problem involve Individual action? Collective action?
  3. Should these problems be resolved using incentives or regulation? (e.g., would you enact a law to change behavior? Why or why not?)
  4. If you do think a law is necessary, how would it motivate behavior change?
  5. (a.) Think of another source of pollution or human-induced disturbance to campus or any other rivers/streams that might best be resolved using a regulation and explain why.  (b.) Think of another source of pollution or human-induced disturbance that might best be resolved using incentives. (c.) Think of another source of pollution or human-induced disturbance that might best be resolved using other means (such as basic education) and who should provide those means.

 

Replacement Native Species

Est. Time 8 minutes (32-40 minutes into class)

Students continuing working with their groups. Students should look up 5 native species that could replace the invasive exotic plant species studied above. Students should answer the following questions in their notebook about the native species.

1. What is the name of the native plant?

2. What invasive exotic plant species do you think it best replaces, and why?

3. If used on UGA’s campus, how could this native species support the health of UGA’s watersheds?

Suggested native plants for students to learn use: American Holly, Trumpet Honeysuckle, Butterfly Milkweed, Virginia Creeper. (currently no pdf of native species)

Links for Suggested Invasive Exotic Species which include images:

American Holly (Ilex opaca): http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ILOP

Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa): http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ASTU

Oconee Azalea: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=RHFL

Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens): http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=LOSE

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia): http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PAQU2

Reflective Writing Homework Assignment

Writing Prompt: How can the urban environment (UGA campus, your yard, downtown Athens, and shopping centers around the loop) influence the spread of exotic-species and/or help maintain biodiversity and pollinators like bees and butterflies?

Length: 1 page

Additional activity: Ask student to sit for 30 minutes in one outdoor location before they begin their writing assignment.