Step 4: Analyze & Communicate Your Data

Was my hypothesis conclusively right or wrong? What next?  At this point, you should be able to tell if your data not only proves or disproves your hypothesis, but whether it does so conclusively. Conclusively means you can say without much doubt that your hypothesis was right or wrong and the reasons why. If you [...]

Step 3: Observe, Collect Data & Evaluate Results

Did the data I collected prove or disprove my hypothesis?    We recommend having students keep a science notebook to record their field observations and data points. You should make detailed observations about the study site whenever you visit it. For this module, good things to note would be the presence or absence of vegetation around [...]

Step 1: Observation & Research

What do you know about your study site and your watershed? The steps you take in answering this question will lead you toward formulating the questions that you want to answer with respect to water quality (i.e. our testable question) through the monitoring field activity. Check Your Thinking: What watershed is your study site within? [...]

How to Create a Water Quality Monitoring Plan

We know what water is. We know what water quality is. Now all we have to do is go out and monitor water quality, right? Wrong. It’s not quite that easy. While we will be putting everything we’ve just learned together to develop a plan to investigate water quality near our school or home, we [...]

Water Quality Impacts: Nonpoint Source

In this short video, Matt Vincent illustrates rural nonpoint source impacts to water quality. Right-click or ctrl-click this link to download.   In this short video, Matt Vincent illustrates urban nonpoint source impacts to water quality on Blacktail Creek in Butte, Montana. Right-click or ctrl-click this link to download.  

Sources of Water Pollution

Our waters quality can be impacted by so many uses and ways that it is hard to know where to begin. The best place to start is with us – humans. Pretty much everything we do as humans as it relates to our use of water results in a change to its quality. Introduction of [...]

Water Quality Parameters: Dissolved Oxygen

Dissolved oxygen, often referred to as DO, is simply the amount of oxygen that is dissolved in the water. It is measured in mg/L or ppm and is correlated with the water’s temperature to give a % saturation. When DO levels fall below 8 or 9, most trout and oxygen-sensitive aquatic insect populations like stoneflies [...]

Weathering & Erosion

Weathering is the slow, continuous chemical and mechanical breakdown of rocks into fragments and dissolved compounds. Around Butte, Montana, weathering has turned solid granite into the sand and gravel that underlies most of the city. Weathering and erosion are strongly controlled by climate. Water is a major contributor to chemical weathering and mechanical or physical weathering, [...]

The MSP project is funded by an ESEA, Title II Part B Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant through the Montana Office of Public Instruction. MSP was developed by the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program and faculty from Montana Tech of The University of Montana and Montana State University, with support from other Montana University System Faculty.