ATU chapter members get their feet wet in river cleanup

Arkansas Tech University professors and students partnered with the ATU Fisheries and Wildlife Society to clean a nearby stream.

The university’s student chapter members originally planned to participate in a river cleanup at the American Fisheries Society annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. But when the ongoing coronavirus pandemic caused AFS to cancel the conference, the students still wanted to make a difference, especially since there are rivers that need cleanup right in their state.

So ATU assistant professors Susan Colvin and Jorista Garrie collaborated with the chapter to organize an effort to clean up Prairie Creek in Russellville, Arkansas.

Especially since most classes are virtual these days, Colvin said the point of this initiative was to give students a hands-on opportunity to get their feet wet. Chapter President Brittany Edwards, a senior in the fisheries and wildlife science program, said the goal was met.

“I enjoy any opportunity to be outside and apply my classroom knowledge to identify the nature around me,” Edwards said. “When my peers and I can converse on the species of a plant or organism in front of us, I know that my classroom knowledge will be useful after graduation. By participating in cleanup projects like at Prairie Creek, we can prevent that ecosystem from becoming polluted and potentially harming organisms such as fish and plants.”

Read more at Arkansas Tech University.

Header Image: Arkansas Tech University student Trey Welch prepares tires for removal from Prairie Creek during a cleanup project. Credit: Arkansas Tech University