The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council (MACC) announced the 2017 Watershed Stakeholder of the Year on December 7 at its Watershed Annual meeting. The MACC presented the award to the Day1 Watershed Research Community at Hope College led by Dr. Cathy Mader, Dr. Aaron Best, and Dr. Brent Krueger. The Watershed Stakeholder of the Year Award is given to an individual, organization or group that has made significant contributions to improving water quality in the Macatawa Watershed.
The Day1 Watershed Research Community engages students in local efforts to improve water quality in the Macatawa Watershed and the Great Lakes Basin. The Hope College Day1 program is designed to offer an inclusive and collaborative first-year experience to encourage students to pursue a career in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering or math). The program includes research, residential and coursework components. Students have a pre-college experience where they get to know the watershed and start learning water sampling and laboratory techniques. Day1 Watershed students collect and process weekly water samples collected at 5 lake and 6 stream locations throughout the Macatawa Watershed. They take physical and chemical measurements, and process additional chemical tests and microbial analyses in the laboratory. For microbial samples, they not only count the bacteria present, but also DNA sequence samples to better understand the microbial community in the Watershed. The students work will be extremely valuable to the MACC and other partners that are working to restore Lake Macatawa. The data will help inform decisions about when, where and how to implement conservation where it is needed most to improve water quality.
Learn more about the Day1 Watershed Research Community and watch a short video on their website.