Vegetation Assessment Activity

This page includes supporting documentation for a vegetation assessment activity: Click here to download the activity Lesson Plan (in .doc format). Click here to download the Cfwep.Org Lesson Plan for conducting a practice vegetation assessment (also includes a practice water quality assessment, in .doc format). Click here to download the Cfwep.Org Plant Guide for Students [...]

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 Parameters: Conductivity & Hardness

Two other important chemical parameters to understand in water quality monitoring are conductivity and hardness. Conductivity is a measure of a solution’s ability to conduct electricity, and therefore a measure of the water’s ionic activity and content. The more dissolved salts in water, the higher its ionic content, or conductivity.  Conductivity is a good measure [...]

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 [...]

Water Quality Parameters: Temperature

Temperature is another physical parameter of water that refers to how cold or warm the stream is. In water quality monitoring and scientific field research, temperature is measured in degrees Celsius. Celsius temperature data can be converted to Fahrenheit by multiplying the Celsius reading by 9/5 and adding 32. The majority of trout streams in [...]

Water Quality Parameters: Turbidity

Turbidity is a physical parameter that determines the cloudiness or clarity of water. It is measured in NTUs or nephalometric turbidity units. Water with noticeable or measurable turbidity is generally unfit for drinking (the drinking water quality standard for turbidity is 1 NTU) and excessive levels can block light from reaching aquatic plants, increase water [...]

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Water Quality Parameters: pH

Backing up to the previous section, let’s recall what makes up water. Two charged particles: H+ and OH- are what make up pure water. Remember that water in the environment is never pure; it is an aqueous solution containing many dissolved salts and even gases. The pH of a solution is a measure of the [...]

What is Water Quality?

The term water quality is generally used to describe the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of water with respect to its suitability for its many particular uses. For example, water quality as it relates to drinking has different requirements than water suitable for fish and other aquatic life, not to say that water safe for [...]

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.