Problem-Solving Activity

(15-20 minutes)

Students are assigned to small groups; each group is assigned one of the four campus watersheds. Based on their identification of the issues from the previous activity:

  1. What management strategies do you think would be best to try with this watershed? Why?
  2. For each strategy, advise on whether individual or collective action is more appropriate; whether incentives or regulations would be appropriate; and sources of funding (taxpayers, polluters, landowners, UGA, etc.)

Creative Activity

Draw/describe how different the ecosystems at UGA would be without the human-induced watershed impacts we see (including impervious surfaces, channelization, pollution [point and nonpoint source], and invasive species). Evidence can be an essay, artistic piece, policy, social situation, or any other appropriate assessment.

Think and Share

Est. Time 7 minutes (41-48 minutes into class)
Students are to write on the prompt below for 2 minute and should be prepared to share their response with the class.

A. (Think – 2 minute) Tweet Prompt in 140 characters or less “Draft a memo to President Morehead about how UGA should reduce the impact of invasive species on watershed on campus”

B. (Share – 5 minutes) The instructor will ask students to share their answers with the entire class and promote discussion. Many of the answers may be the same, so once students’ answers become repetitive, the instructor should ask for responses that are different than what has already been suggested.

Additional Resources:

Bringing Nature Home, Book and Blog:

Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem:

Georgia Invasive Species Task Force:

Georgia Native Plant Society:

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center's Native Plant Database:

U.S. Forest Service,.Miller, J.H., Manning, S. T. and Enloe, S. F. A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forest. Available for Forest Service Office for free but the River Basin Center may have additional copies available.

USDA National Invasive Species Information Center:

Informative Poster Assignment

Create a poster about an invasive species that can be displayed in a public location to education the public about a specific invasive species, how to identify it, its impact on the ecosystem and native plants that are alternatives for gardening and landscaping.

Exploration and Documentation

Students are to walk to pre-assigned regions of campus and document invasive species. Find five locations of invasive species growing on campus and identify the species, geotag the location and add to a map of campus. Discuss the following topics in a 1-2 page reflection paper. Are the invasive-exotic species growing wild or were they planted, what native species could be used instead, if invasive plants are present in a planted area or if the area is a natural area, how could the area be ecologically restored? What benefits would this have on the local environment (for birds, pollinators, reducing erosion, stream bank stabilization, etc.)?

Alternative Activity Topics: Research an additional invasive species and write how it impacts the environment.

Writing the Watershed 1

Observation is a very personal act. You are not just having experiences but also gaining knowledge. This knowledge itself is broader than simply vision. Think of also of sound, smell, taste, and touch (with touch not confined just to the fingers). Over time even shifts in the landscape occur, e.g., changing weather, shifting seasons, even changing climate. Look at the raw data or the behavior, first -- get that down because you might not have a second chance.

Go outside and observe for 10 minutes. Make a list of 10 things or events you see/hear/smell/taste/feel.

Writing the Watershed 2

Think about all the times a particular image in a watershed has appeared in your life. This may be a favorite place in nature or some magnificent experience. Now you will be composing from memory rather than writing in the field.

Take 10 minutes to write that scene.

Writing the Watershed 3

Writing is not about emoting but mission. It has to be grounded in the concrete.

In this story-telling phase, be specific, use concrete detail, use analogy, and/or use natural history to conjure place. You are bearing witness to a world unknown by others.

Description -- What's it like? How would I recognize it?

Interpretation -- What is the relationship of this object to others in space and time? What happens when natural history and personal history meet?

Speculation or Reflection -- What does this have to teach us? What truth does it give me? Why does it attract or repel me? Reach for the links between science and imagination.  

Writing the Watershed: Quickies

Ten things I love about ______________ (the river, the watershed, etc.)

What did I see the first time I saw _____________________.

Writing the Watershed: Longer Writing

Write two to three pages on one of the follow:

A place in the watershed I really love is ________.

In my wildest dreams I would be able to ______for the watershed.

What possesses/obsesses you about watersheds?