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Juniata Geologists Receive Grant to Expand Stream Monitoring Program

(Posted January 26, 2004)

HUNTINGDON, Pa.-- The Juniata College geology department has received a $15,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center to expand its stream-monitoring project along Spruce Creek to include Warriors Mark Run, a tributary of the larger creek that has a run of about seven to eight miles before emptying into Spruce Creek.

The grant, which is part of a $100,000 grant administered by the Pennsylvania Water Resources Center in the School of Forest Resources at Penn State University, will monitor a variety of water quality factors through regular testing. Two Juniata student research assistants will monitor the stream for increased levels of nitrates and phosphates, as well as for dissolved solids (which determines the ?hardness? of water), turbidity (how much silt and soil is in the water), temperature and stream flow.
Juniata researchers have been monitoring nutrient levels along a five-mile stretch of Spruce Creek for the past two years to establish a database of water quality values.

?We want to take a look at Warriors Mark Run because we?ve been seeing some changes in our baseline data for nutrient levels,? says Ryan Mathur, assistant professor of geology at Juniata, who will supervise the project, together with Dennis Johnson, assistant professor of environmental science, and David Lehmann, associate professor of geology. ?When you see changes in a larger watershed, the accepted practice is to investigate a smaller watershed that supplies the stream to see if you can identify the smaller watershed as the source of a problem.?

The Juniata team will monitor Warriors Mark Run from its headwaters along Route 350 between Warriors Mark and Bald Eagle to the confluence of Warriors Mark Run and Spruce Creek, a distance of about eight miles. The project will begin in the spring and continue through the rest of the year.

?The monitoring project along Warriors Mark Run will be important in the next year or so because there is a proposed residential development that may be built along part of the stream and our students will be able to monitor any changes in the water quality,? Mathur says.



Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.