Virginia Tech® home

IN PROGRESS | River Discoveries: Dive into Nature in Montgomery County’s Local Waterways

Kids Playing in a River

IGC Capstone Project | Interfaces of Global Change

River Discoveries: Dive into Nature in Montgomery County’s Local Waterways

Student Members:
Faculty Mentors:

In Progress (Initiated March 2024)

This project involves hosting a snorkeling event in collaboration with the New River Land Trust (NRLT) to foster environmental education and awareness among young middle school students in Montgomery County, VA. Through this event, students will be introduced to the rich biodiversity and ecological significance of their local waterways while engaging in hands-on learning experiences.

Our educational objectives are to 1) increase environmental awareness by teaching students the importance of local river ecosystems and the need for their conservation, 2) enhance students’ knowledge of the species inhabiting the river ecosystem, and 3) foster a sense of stewardship and community involvement that can be carried on in perpetuity by the NRLT through the continued use of our deliverables.

To accomplish our objectives, we will conduct a guided snorkeling event along a designated section of the New River to observe and document aquatic life. The students will then learn to identify common river species and understand their role in the aquatic environment through the creation of their own field notebook that they will be able to continually add to.

To evaluate the success of the event, we will design a pre-  and poststudy survey aimed at assessing how well the event achieved our objectives. Through this capstone we hope to inspire a lifelong appreciation for the local river ecosystem and empower young students to become stewards of their environment while helping the NRLT establish a repeatable educational program.