Students measure local water quality

local water quality

Through GWC’s Geographic Information Systems course, students are learning firsthand about the importance of a clean water supply in the local community. GWC has teamed with the Geneva Lake Environmental Agency (GLEA) to assist in the research and analysis of groundwater, as this source represents one-third of water that enters Geneva Lake.

“The collaboration with the GLEA was a natural fit for both groups,” said GWC Chair of Sustainability and Environmental Management Richard Boniak. “We both realize how important protecting our natural resources is and why research is crucial for the betterment of our community. We are aligned with the same goals and missions, and can help each other because we have different resources.”

The groundwater study began this summer as interns conducted private well monitoring in Linn Township, a well-dependent area with no water distribution system. This fall, students are analyzing the collected data, a project that is providing opportunities for authentic field research, which some GWC students are experiencing for the first time in a college environment.

“When I first found out we were going to be using real data from our area and actually applying it to our coursework, I was a little intimidated yet excited that we are making an impact on our surrounding community,” said freshman Lisa Seedoff. “I’m eager to gain real-world knowledge and study the final product.”

Through data analysis, students will create a detailed map that will allow for the visualization of spatial trends of water quality, research that could provide a scope of Geneva Lake and be an important resource for community agencies.