GROUPING THROUGH THE MUD WITH SNAKES: THE WETLAND CLASS GROUP PROJECT!
Thirty water samples were collected from thirteen sites and were tested for nitrate, phosphate, sulfates, pH, conductivity, TDS and temperature. Soil core samples taken at each site were examined and described in the field. The results from the group project indicate that the TDS increases southwestward, the general direction of surface water flow within the preserve. The pH was neutral with a range from 7.05 to 8.90. The nitrate levels ranged from 15.2 to 46.1ppm. A drainage (McCullough) ditch had the highest nitrate levels (37.6 ppm) in the preserve and it also had one of the highest phosphate levels (1.72ppm). The correlation coefficient between the nitrate and phosphate levels is 0.807, and the correlation between the conductivity and TDS is 0.672 as should be expected. The soils were generally rich in clay, some had a rotten egg smell and others had an earthy smell. Students were very appreciative of the opportunity to work together and had ‘fun’ during the day-long group project. The group project will be expanded with subsequent class looking at the variability between the soil types and vegetation.