Project Overview

Adaptation and implementation of a watershed model:
The French Creek Watershed Research Program at Allegheny College

Training undergraduate students to examine the complex interrelationships within our natural earth system requires improved collaboration across academic disciplines. In this project, Allegheny College faculty from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Geology will develop the French Creek Watershed (FCW) Research Program to provide an interdisciplinary approach to undergraduate natural science coursework and research. The instrumentation requested herein will enable solid and solution-phase analysis of critical biotic and abiotic watershed components. The FCW Research Program will: 1) use new analytical equipment to strengthen field investigations in undergraduate science classes at all instruction levels; 2) enhance the caliber of student/faculty research within the College by markedly improving analytical capability and accuracy; 3) create a program website, linked to a geographic information system (GIS), to serve as a centralized, institutional database for watershed information collected in courses and from student/faculty research efforts at Allegheny.

This program will enhance the intellectual vigor of both undergraduate students and faculty by: 1) improving analytical capability for coursework and research; 2) developing critical thinking and scientific skills within a regional watershed setting; and 3) fostering an interdisciplinary perspective in coursework and research via collaboration among disciplines. Dissemination of program design and results via the website, conference presentations, and publications will facilitate similar cooperative, interdisciplinary approaches at other institutions.

Project Summary Project Description