The NSF-funded IDEA 2.0 undergraduate geoscience program has launched a series of Saturday Intensives, to take place during the 2017-2018 academic year, designed to introduce students to geoscience research happening throughout the Triangle and beyond. Each experience is planned so that UNC and NCCU geoscience students have a chance to interact with researchers and environmental professionals and learn more about real-world experimental design, data management, and skills and tools necessary for scientific investigation.

On Saturday, September 30, IDEA 2.0 students met with Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) Senior Lake Warden John Riley to tour the Cane Creek Reservoir, OWASA’s 540-acre reservoir located west of Carrboro, on foot and via canoes and kayaks. Students learned about the engineering and history of the dam and also discussed water quality and quantity, mitigation, and conservation easements with Mr. Riley. Given recent hurricanes that have impacted the United States and caused unprecedented flooding, the students asked questions about natural disasters like drought and flooding and how prepared the utility is to manage such disasters. Students also identified future opportunities for research including studying downstream sedimentation and using wildlife data to assess ongoing water quality.

Future Saturday Intensives are being planned with NC Department of Environmental Quality, Research Triangle Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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