On Friday, September 29, 2017, two East Georgia State College students enrolled in the Bachelor of Biology program, Joleishia Cooper and John Sanders, presented their research at the 5th Annual Critical Thinking Conference on the EGSC – Swainsboro campus.
The title of Cooper’s presentation was “Ecosystem Assessment of an Aquatic Resource for K-12 Education and Recreation.” She presented the results of her research performed during Fall of 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Breana Simmons, Associate Professor at EGSC. In conjunction with students enrolled in the ecology class, Cooper measured physical, chemical and biological characteristics of a suburban lentic system to assess water quality and evaluate the habitat for use in local K-12 educational programs. Natural and anthropogenic factors, such as plant diversity and surface runoff, can influence inputs to ponds and lakes in suburban areas, affecting their suitability for research or recreation. Information from this study will allow local administrators to manage the property more effectively to meet educational and recreational goals as well as develop plans for future acquisitions.
Sanders’s presentation was titled “Baseline Water Monitoring of the Ohoopee River.” The presented the results from his research conducted during Spring 2017 and Johnathan Davis’s research conducted during Summer 2017. Both Sanders and Davis were interns with the Altamaha Riverkeeper. Kaitlin Warren, a May 2017 graduate of EGSC’s Bachelor of Science in Biology program, supervised the two students. Warren is the Oconee Watershed Manager at the Altamaha Riverkeeper. Students tested water quality at three sites on the Ohoopee River, located in Reidsville above and below the wastewater treatment plant. This research is part of a long-term collaboration between the Altamaha Riverkeeper and EGSC to create a baseline dataset of measurements to determine potential influences of wastewater releases on the river’s health. More information can be found at http://altamahariverkeeper.org/?page_id=365.
“I am very proud of the quality of research performed by these students,” said Biology Chair Dr. David Chevalier. “They are the best ambassadors of the department of biology and EGSC.”