PAEE Recognizes Stroud Water Research Center Leaf Pack Stream Ecology Kit

The PA Association of Environmental Educators recently awarded the Outstanding Environmental Education Program Award to the Stroud Water Research Center’s Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit and Stream Schools programs.

The Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit is based on the scientific research technique of using the different kinds and numbers of aquatic insects living on packs of leaves in the water to assess and monitor the health of streams and rivers.

Stroud Center subsequently created the Leaf Pack Network, which enables students and citizen scientists to post and compare data generated by leaf pack experiments performed in their local streams on the Web.

Stroud Center’s Stream School programs are unique for their hands-on, boots-in-the-water approach which gives visiting students an in-depth, real-world science experience.

What’s more fun: venturing into a stream to collect a sample or identifying the creatures that live in it? Students can find out during one of our stream studies.

Stroud Center is one of the few laboratories in the world devoted exclusively to research and education on stream and river ecology. Its education program was conceived in 1990 through the interest of a nearby school to have students learn more about local streams and rivers.

The ensuing education and outreach effort created a wide variety of freshwater ecology programs for students, teachers, public officials, environmental professionals, watershed groups and the general public.

During the past 25 years, our educators have translated Stroud Center’s scientific findings to the world, engaging more than 52,000 students and adults in freshwater ecology and stewardship.

“This award recognizes an exemplary environmental education program that could be used as a model for educators across the state,” said Taiji Nelson, director of public relations for the PAEE, who conferred the award to Libby Gregg, Stroud Center education programs assistant, during the organization’s annual conference.

The Leaf Pack Experiment teaches groups to use stream chemistry, habitat observations and macroinvertebrate populations to assess local stream health.

He added, “We believe your program deserves recognition for its use of innovative educational practices and technology to enhance hands-on engagement. Your commitment to increasing the reach of your programs to a wide audience is inspirational to other environmental educators.”

“I’m proud to have our education department honored by this award,” said Susan Gill, Ph.D., Stroud Center’s education director.

Stroud Center has launched multiple public service programs aimed at helping people — from local landowners to national and international organizations — implement best stewardship practices for streams, rivers and watersheds.

“I’m very pleased that our education department was recognized for its excellence,” said Bernard Sweeney, Ph.D., Stroud Center’s president and director. “Our resources and programs empower citizens across the globe to protect their watersheds.”

For more information, visit the Stroud Center website.


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