AQUIPHILE STUDENTS AND WATERSHED RESEARCH IN WEST GEORGIA FROM 1988 TO 2006: ADVANCEMENT IN SCIENCE AND UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA
What are the keys to the remarkable growth in the quality and quantity of student research in watershed assessment at UWG? 1) Innovative publishable research projects for students. 2) Creation in 1999 of the Center for Water Resources (CWR) within UWG and the independent 501c Upper Tallapoosa Watershed Group (UTWG). The CWR provided increased external funding with contracts for water quality assessment that purchased equipment and paid students, faculty, and staff. The UTWG generated service projects for students, fostering student-community ties, through both public educational meetings and local river cleanups. 3) Favorable external factors such as employment opportunities in environmental fields in metro-Atlanta. 4) Funding levels that allow us to offer a very competitive pay rate to students, enabling us to attract superior students. 5) As students work for the CWR, they are encouraged to create their own research projects in fields that most interest them, resulting in a better experience for them and often extended projects. 6) Since 1999, students have traveled and given presentations at each annual and southeastern section meeting of GSA. 7) Funding from UWG and SEGSA cover student travel.