East Georgia State College’s Biology Department has worked in collaboration with the Altamaha Riverkeeper since 2015. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Biology program at EGSC work with the Altamaha Riverkeeper as part of an internship program. The fifth intern from EGSC, Blaine Bellflower, is a senior in the BS Biology program and will graduate in December of 2018.
EGSC students like Bellflower have worked in partnership with the Altamaha Riverkeeper since the partnership was formed to monitor three sites on the Ohoopee River near Reidsville. These sites were chosen because they are located above and below one of the wastewater treatment plants, allowing for the monitoring of potential releases of toxic chemicals from the plant. Students measured pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and temperature (air and water) at these three locations, using these tests to indicate whether life can be sustained in the water and if pollutants are present in unsafe levels. The tests also provide a fluctuation chart of deviance from the standard levels of water quality.
This monitoring will continue over several years to create a baseline data of water quality in order to identify potential hazardous events that may occur in the future and allow workers to intervene to stop and clear the contamination from the water.
In order to perform these tests on water quality, students must attend and be certified in chemical water monitoring by a Certified Trainer for Georgia Adopt-a-Stream.
Dr. Frank Carl is a Certified Trainer and part of the Savannah Riverkeeper, and will be conducting training at East Georgia State College on August 24, 2018 from 1 – 5 p.m. in Room C223 at EGSC’s Swainsboro campus.
Dr. Carl grew up in rural East-Central Pennsylvania and earned his BA in Chemistry from Gettysburg College in 1967, then his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wyoming in 1972. He spent eight years at the University of Alabama at Birmingham before moving to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where he retired as professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, Medicine and Cell and Molecular Biology in 2000. In 2001, he founded the Savannah Riverkeeper, a water quality advocacy group, for which he is currently Science Advisor and Board Chair. Dr. Carl is also active with the Savannah River Group of the Sierra Club and is a Certified Trainer for Chemical, Bacterial and Biological Monitoring by Georgia Adopt-a-Stream, a program of the Environmental Protection Division of Georgia.
Georgia Adopt-a-Stream is a non-profit organization that allows trained citizens to record and enter water quality on a database. To learn more, visit https://adoptastream.georgia.gov.