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Volume 26
Number 2
Fall 2009
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Students catch potential mussel host fish on the St. Croix River. Science Features
Students to the rescue of freshwater mussels at St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
By Jean Van Tatenhove
Published: 15 Jan 2014 (online)  •  30 Jan 2014 (in print)
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Introduction
Students catch potential mussel host fish on the St. Croix River.

MATTHEW S. BERG

Students catch potential mussel host fish on the St. Croix River.

AS I LISTENED TO THE PRESENTATION, I had to keep reminding myself that these were high school students. The room full of biologists, teachers, students, and community members of Solon Springs, Wisconsin, are engaged as Aimee, a junior at Grantsburg High School, describes the life cycle of a freshwater mussel. Senior Ben takes over and describes the methods used to conduct a freshwater mussel survey on the upper St. Croix River. The Friends of the St. Croix Headwaters and Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, funded the project.

Nearly 30 biology students conducted qualitative and quantitative surveys last summer. Then eight research biology students analyzed the data and produced a complete research paper with quality GIS maps, graphs, and diagrams describing their results. They were now presenting their findings in a PowerPoint format to their funding sponsors. The students worked hard—several earned a certificate in scuba diving in order to conduct the research. They moved several tons of river sediment searching for mussels and quantifying sediment composition.

Their teacher, Matt Berg, was disappointed that all the research students were not able to attend this presentation because of basketball games. “They really nailed this presentation when we were at Macalester. I didn’t have to say a word. We missed Tyler tonight—he is the statistician of the group.” When I asked Matt how he got high school students to do such professional presentations, he said, “They don’t know they’re not supposed to be able to.”

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This page updated:  2 November 2009
URL: http://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/index.cfm?ArticleID=325&Page=1



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Forest vegetation monitoring in eastern national parks
Contaminants study provides window into airborne toxic impacts in western U.S. and Alaska national parks
Exploring the influence of genetic diversity on pitcher plant restoration in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Sidebar: Ecology of plant carnivory
  Students to the rescue of freshwater mussels at St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
Pulse study links scientists and managers
A rapid, invasive plant survey method for national park units with a cultural resource focus
Prescribed fire and nonnative plant spread in Zion National Park
Partnership behaviors, motivations, constraints, and training needs among NPS employees
Sidebar: The partnership phenomenon
Distribution and abundance of Barbary sheep and other ungulates in Carlsbad Caverns National Park
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