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The Sierra Club has defined an issue that the Environmental Hydrogeology class will help address in this project: most of the surface waters in Memphis are under fish advisories and yet a portion of the population still subsistence fishes from these waters. Our main product we will produce for Sierra Club is a map of fishing sightings based on survey data we collect during the semester and a proposed sampling strategy to assess potential pollutants based on the knowledge the students gain in field and lab activities. We will also provide information on the percentage of survey participants that are aware of pollution issues in the local waterways and percentage that would be detered from fishing if they saw a sign. At the end of the semester, the students will hold an art contest to design better fish advisory signs, and designs will be made available to Sierra Club and the TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation. Prior to beginning these activities, the students will have created a base map of Memphis in GIS during a previous lab and used it to consider questions of pollutant runoff from various urban spaces such as golf courses, roads, shopping centers, and City parks. (The instructions for this activity are included in the other materials section below under Creating a Base Map in GIS (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 30kB Feb7 10).) The base map will be used throughout the activities as field data and information from interviews/surveys are collected and added to the map for subsequent consideration of possible environmental justice issues. The lab activities outlined require the students to conduct grain size analyses using samples that community members provide to them, calculate hydraulic conductivity, measure infiltration rates in the community, estimate impervious surfaces within the community, and subsequently model the transport of water within that community. Results of their work will be conveyed back to the community both through personal contact and via the Wiki page the students produce. Students will base their sampling recommendations by generalizing the concepts learned from these activities (and others during the semester) to apply the course material to the service project. The final map of sighting and recommendations for Sierra Club requires the students to apply concepts from previous activities and will be completed during the lab activity: Mapping survey results.
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