August 11, 2016

Stream Discovery Program is focus of workshop

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A September workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center offers area teachers, educators and others who work with children in grades 5-12 a chance to learn about the Stream Discovery Program, a unique environmental education project. 

The Stream Discovery Training Workshop is Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Touch of Nature’s Indian Building. Touch of Nature is located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. 

The stream program was developed by the National Great Rivers and Education Center in Godfrey and those attending the workshop will learn about the program, its methods and resources. They will discuss macroinvertebrate biology, ecology and aquatic identification before they go to a nearby stream to take field samples for analysis. They are advised to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for wading in a local stream. 

The Stream Discovery Program is a stream monitoring program that enables students to assess water quality in their communities by a variety of methods, including checking the water chemistry and sampling aquatic macroinvertebrates such as mayfly and dragonfly nymphs, dobsonfly larva and snails. Water quality data gathered by youths involved in the program is then uploaded to National Geographic’s FieldScope mapping and data platform, allowing comparison to student data collected for other watersheds in Illinois. 

The cost for the workshop is $55 and participants must pre-register by Sept. 8. Lunch is provided. Online registration is available at

Those attending may also earn six professional development hours at no cost. They should bring their Illinois Educator Identification Number to the event. 

For more information about the workshop, contact Steve Gariepy at or by calling 618/453-1121.  To learn more about the many programs, services and facilities at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, visit, call 618/453-1121 or email