FAIRFIELD – Nearly 600 Solano County high school students, by the end of the school year, will have participated in the Solano County Biomonitoring Program.
“Students learned about their local watershed, observed the hands-on methods used to monitor streams in their neighborhoods, and joined in assessing the health of these streams,” according to a statement released by the Resource Conservation District. Solano.
The Solano County Biomonitoring Program teaches students how to assess watershed health through physical, chemical and biological assessments, according to the release. Students learn the relationship between stream ecology and water quality; the extent of local water quality problems and ways to improve surface water quality; and the value of community science.
“For more than a decade, high school students across the county have participated in this community science project and provided valuable data for scientific study,” the district’s statement said.
This year’s program provided classes and virtual outings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The program aims to inspire students to explore career paths in science like former high school student Will C. Wood who is now studying environmental science.
“Because of the experience she had sampling along the creek with the biomonitoring program, she decided to make aquatic biology her priority,” said Kevin English, science professor at Will C Wood, in the district statement. He added that the student’s field experience “made her realize how important it is to protect our watersheds and she hopes this will lead to a career where she can make a positive difference.”
The program is funded by the Solano County Water Agency, Solano County, Benicia, and the Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District. Participating schools include Armijo, Benicia, Fairfield, Rodriguez, Vacaville, Vallejo, Vanden, and Will C. Wood high schools, as well as MIT Academy.