Pacific Grove Museum 2021
Pacific Grove, California
This grant will supply water quality measurement equipment to allow the Museum to expand its Watershed Guardians program digitally to additional schools. The water quality probes will allow us to build and strengthen the Watershed Guardians data set. We plan to collect regular water quality data at a subset of our field sites that can be used in virtual field trip programs. We will continue to use the probes during regular, in-person field trips to support student data collected by using water analysis kits. Working with students to explore data they collected in the field, as well as data collected by local monitoring organizations, and previous students in the program is an important way to extend student learning. The grant will build on the success of the Watershed Guardians program that has put the 2019 YLACES grant equipment to good use and will have a significant impact on student’s understanding of the process of science, how our local ecosystems work, and the impact humans have on our environment.
During 2021, the program made great strides despite the COVID-19 pandemic prohibiting in person fieldwork most of the year. Focus groups were hosted with local teachers to ensure the program's success, and even a few sample programs with students were run to test the equipment. To date, the program has served 178 students and has scheduled dates to serve over 700 more students throughout the spring with the Go Direct Probes purchased with last year’s grant from YLACES. The Watershed Guardians program has also established a fleet of adult volunteers who use the same equipment to sample the water quality in the same locations to increase the number of datapoints observed.