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Center for Field Biology wins $80,000 contract to study Red River Watershed

The Center of Excellence for Field Biology has been awarded a grant to study springs in Tennessees Red River Watershed.

The $50,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will be matched for a total contract of approximately $80,000.

The purpose of the two-year pilot study is to identify and monitor 12 springs in the Red River Watershed. The Center will produce a vegetational assessment, study the biology and test each spring for fecal coliform and fecal streptococci.
The Center of Excellence for Field Biology has been awarded a grant to study springs in Tennessee's Red River Watershed.

The $50,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will be matched for a total contract of approximately $80,000.

The purpose of the two-year pilot study is to identify and monitor 12 springs in the Red River Watershed. The Center will produce a vegetational assessment, study the biology and test each spring for fecal coliform and fecal streptococci.

“Over the past several years, the Center has worked in this watershed and currently is developing a bi-state project to study nonpoint source pollution in the Red River,” says Dr. Steven Hamilton, senior project scientist and professor of biology at APSU. “This watershed is like the Center's living laboratory.”

The project will attempt to develop monitoring protocols specifically for use in springs. While such protocols are available for streams, none have been developed for waters that flow from the ground, according to Hamilton. The study results will be used to develop a statewide program including an inventory of Tennessee springs, a GIS map, a springs monitoring assessment and educational materials.

The Center's research team includes Hamilton, Laurina Lyle, project principal investigator and environmental education coordinator for the Center; and project associate scientists Dr. Don Dailey, professor of biology at APSU, Dr. Joseph Schiller, associate professor of biology at APSU, and Dr. Cindy Taylor, associate professor of biology at APSU.

APSU students will assist in monitoring springs and developing educational materials.
—Rebecca Mackey