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Mountain Ridge High School Pre-Hydraulic Fracturing Baseline Water Quality Data Collection

Mountain Ridge High School Pre-Hydraulic Fracturing Baseline Water Quality Data Collection

Issue: Environmental

Grant Amount: $78,765.00
FROSTBURG, MD
Year Funded: 2012
Organization: Frostburg State University Foundation, Inc.

Contact Information

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OTHER IMPORTANT LINKS:
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mrprefrackbaseline

Maryland DNR Marcellus Monitoring Program:
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/streams/GMapVols.asp

Shale Network:
http://www.shalenetwork.org/

Primary Goal:  Students from Mountain Ridge High School, with State Farm’s support, will supply reliable and unbiased information to the public so that rational decisions can be made regarding hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.  We will collect pre-fracking baseline water quality data on the water supply of Frostburg, which serves 12,000 people.  All data and other fracking related research will be reported by students at public City and County meetings.

Rationale:  The nearest proposed Maryland fracking site is only 1/2 mile from the Piney Run Reservoir.  Two tributaries to the Reservoir originate in Pennsylvania, a state where fracking is permitted frequently.  Baseline water quality data on the Reservoir will be useful.

Project Updates

SAMPLING SITES AND ANALYTES FOR EACH MONTH. (TO RECEIVE DATA, E-MAIL .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) . INCLUDE NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS.)

SAMPLING SITES AND ANALYTES FOR EACH MONTH.  (TO RECEIVE DATA, E-MAIL <span data-eeEncEmail_RgcDygyzFJ='1'>.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)</span><script type=/*]]>*/ . INCLUDE NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS.)" class="img-left"}

Monthly Sampling Sites
1)  Savage River Aquifer Spring
2)  Unnamed Tributary (T1) to the Reservoir near most likely fracking site*
3)  Piney Creek Tributary (C6) to the Reservoir*
4)  Blandy Run Tributary (B7) to the Reservoir
5)  Geatz Run Tributary (G8) to the Reservoir
4)  Piney Run Reservoir Outlet
5)  Raw Water Faucet at the Water Treatment Plant
6)  Treated Water Faucet at the Water Treatment Plant

Analytes for Monthly Lab Analysis at Summit Labs
- Bromide (EPA 300.0)
• Gross Alpha & Gross Beta, Long –Term (EPA 900.0)
• Barium (EPA 200.8)
• Strontium (EPA 200.8)
• Methane (SM 6211B / EPA 8015)
• Aluminum (EPA 200.8)
• Calcium (EPA 200.8)
• Chloride (HACH 8224)
• Iron (HACH 8118)
• Magnesium (EPA 200.8)
• Manganese (EPA 200.8)
• Sulfate (HACH 8051)
• Sodium (EPA 200.8)

Monthly Field Data Collection
YSI Pro 30 – specific conductivity, total dissolved solids, temperature
YSI ProODO- dissolved oxygen (% saturation)
YSI pH10 Meter- pH
Hach Turbidimeter- Turbidity (NTU)

FRACKING: PROS, CONS, UNCERTAINTY - DELIVERED APRIL 2013 AT FROSTBURG STATE UNIVERSITY

BASELINE METHODS AND DATA - DELIVERED APRIL 2013 AT FROSTBURG STATE UNIVERSITY

September 13, 2012-CORE LEADER TRAINING DAY-OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #1

September 13, 2012-CORE LEADER TRAINING DAY-OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #1

Twenty leaders were trained today in the proper pre-fracking baseline water quality sampling methods.  Three experts joined us to share their knowledge with the core leaders:  Chris Heyer from YSI Technologies, Ron Gibas from Summit Environmental Technologies, and Johan Schijf from the University of Maryland.  It was a great day and our core leaders are now ready to train 100 other students soon.  The project is off to a good start.

Dr. Johan Schijf of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory has been instrumental in guiding us through the data analysis and performing quality control with our data.

Check out this link to see some core leaders getting trained in how to properly gather water quality data: http://youtu.be/bphTpJrktcs

October 4, 2012 - NINETY-ONE STUDENTS TRAINED BY CORE LEADERS IN FIELD DATA COLLECTION

October 4, 2012 - NINETY-ONE STUDENTS TRAINED BY CORE LEADERS IN FIELD DATA COLLECTION

On October 4th, at Sand Spring Run in Frostburg, Maryland, the Core Leaders of the Mountain Ridge Pre-Fracking Water Quality Data Collection Team instructed 91 students on how to properly label, gather, and test water samples.  We were also joined by Mrs. Weimer's environmental science class.  The trip was very successful!

October 11th, OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #2

October 11th, OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #2

On October 11th, 2012, three students went to all eight testing sites and carefully gathered data and samples.

October 18th, STATE FARM YAB PROJECT FEATURED IN CUMBERLAND-TIMES NEWS

October 18th, STATE FARM YAB PROJECT FEATURED IN CUMBERLAND-TIMES NEWS

See this link to the full newspaper article: http://boe.allconet.org/news_details.php?NewsID=733

October 22nd, 2012 MARYLAND WATER MONITORING COUNCIL

October 22nd, 2012 MARYLAND WATER MONITORING COUNCIL

On October 22, 2012, four Mountain Ridge High school students attended a Water Monitoring conference to learn about how  other scientists are handling the issue of fracking, as it related to water quality. Some key points of the day were:

1) Many scientists recommend  barium, bromide, strontium, and conductivity as key fracking indicators.  We are doing this.

2) The HOBO conductivity logger  constantly records temperature and conductivity.  This is an important value to monitor.  It is recommend by many scientists.  We plan to begin using these soon.

3) Out of fifty montored fracking sites in the Susquehannah River Basin, only one has experienced a serious contamination issue.

4) Above all, we learned that many scientists are struggling to get funding and to initiate baseline testing in the region.  The data that we are collecting at our streams will help to fill a gap.

November 8th, 2012- OFFICAL SAMPLING DAY #3

November 8th, 2012- OFFICAL SAMPLING DAY #3

Three Mountain Ridge students successfully gathered samples at all eight sites.  It was a chilly day but the students did a great job anyway!

November 12th, 2012, HOBO PROTECTIVE CAGE CONSTRUCTION DAY

November 12th, 2012, HOBO PROTECTIVE CAGE CONSTRUCTION DAY

Three students worked together with Mr. Byzon of the Tech Ed department and Mr. Kozikowski to construct 5 protective cages that will be used in our streams to house the HOBO conductivity data loggers.  The loggers will continuously record conducitivity data 24/7 for the next 3 years or more.  They will be installed in every stream within the next few weeks.  The students did a great job.

This is the HOBO data logger and shuttle and 5 protective cages.

November 30th, 2012; DNR EXPERT HELPS STUDENTS INSTALL CONDUCTIVITY DATA LOGGERS

November 30th, 2012; DNR EXPERT HELPS STUDENTS INSTALL CONDUCTIVITY DATA LOGGERS

The students walking to tributary G8.

Michael Kashiwagi, of the DNR, showing students how to install the HOBO conductivity data logger.

The HOBO conductivity data logger cage glued to a rock found near the stream.

December 13th, 2012-OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #4

December 13th, 2012-OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #4

Four students went to all eight sites and carefully collected data and samples.  We were accompanied by Matt Baker of the USGS who gave us some suggestions to improve our methods, including using depth-integrated sampling and a churn.

JANUARY 10th 2013- OFFICIAL SAMPLINGDAY #5

JANUARY 10th 2013- OFFICIAL SAMPLINGDAY #5

On January 10th, three students went to the sites and gathered all samples and data.

JANUARY 24th- WE HAVE BEEN ADMITTED INTO THE NATIONAL SHALE NETWORK

Recently our data was accepted  into the National Shale Network due to the high quality of our work. 

"The Shale Network is a project funded by the National Science Foundation to help scientists and citizens store data for water resources that may be affected by gas exploitation in shale. Our primary focus currently is the Marcellus shale and other shales in the northeastern U.S.A. We want to enable the generation of knowledge from water chemistry and flow data collected in areas of extraction of natural gas. The Shale Network is working with the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc. (CUAHSI) to create this database. Our goal is to find, organize, and upload data for water resources for online publication." (quoted from Shale Network website)

Check out the website!

http://www.shalenetwork.org/

Our data will be there soon.

OUR HOBO DATA IS AVAILABLE.

OUR HOBO DATA IS AVAILABLE.

The data from our HOBO continuous conductivity loggers is now available for five sites. If you would like to see our data, check the Maryland DNR website.

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/streams/GMapVols.asp

The data should be posted by the end of February.  

FEBRUARY 12th-STUDENT PRESENTS TO BOARD MEMBERS AND BUSINESS LEADERS

FEBRUARY 12th-STUDENT PRESENTS TO BOARD MEMBERS AND BUSINESS LEADERS

Jeffrey House presented at a meeting entitled "Innovations in Allegany County Schools" and  wrote the following about the experience:

"As the board members and I gathered to give our presentations on our individual projects I was completely ready. As the presentations commenced I learned from the adults who went before me and felt even more confident. When the time finally came for me to present our project I just started talking. I told them everything about our project about my role and other students' roles. I also told them all about fracking and the purposes of our project. My presentation lasted about 10 minutes. After the initial presentation everyone gave me a standing ovation, impressed by the extent of my knowledge of our project. After the presentation people come to me and congratulated me on my performance. I was indeed impressed with even myself and felt a sense of accomplishment that came with it."

FEBRUARY 14th, OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #6.

FEBRUARY 14th, OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #6.

On February 14th, four Mountain Ridge High School students went to gather data once again. The day went well. 

FEBRUARY28th DAN SOEDER PRESENTATION.

FEBRUARY28th DAN SOEDER PRESENTATION.

On February 28th, Dan Soeder, a leading figure in the research of hydraulic fracturing and its effects on the environment and a scientist at the National Energy Technology Lab, came and gave a presentation to the Moutain Ridge High School students participating in the water quality baseline testing.

Some key points of the presentation were: 

  • Learning that there is a trailer that measures air quality at hydraulic fracturing sites. It is measuring fugitive methane for life-cycle green house emissions and other compounds.
  • Learning that in Texas, there is a 0.1% incident rate on fracking sites due to the presence of more on-site regulators, while in Ohio there is a 0.4% incident rate, due to fewer on-site regulators. 
  • Learning that earthquakes may occur when flowback water is disposed of by deep well injection . This could happen, due to the fact the water may lubricate the faults.

MARCH 22ND-TRIP TO SUMMIT LABS AND TO SALEM, OHIO

MARCH 22ND-TRIP TO SUMMIT LABS AND TO SALEM, OHIO

20 students visited Summit Environmental Laboratories in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  Students met the scientists that analyze our samples, helped with some analysis, and learned about the ICP-MS and IC analytical devices.  Students then went to Salem, Ohio where they viewed drilling and fracking sites and interviewed local citizens on their opinions regarding fracking.  It was a terrific learning experience for all involved!

APRIL 11TH, OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #8

APRIL 11TH, OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #8

Four Mountain Ridge students gathered samples and data at all 8 sites.  It was an excellent day in the field!

APRIL 17TH-PUBLIC PRESENTATION AT FROSTBURG STATE UNIVERSITY-OVER 100 CITIZENS ATTEND!

APRIL 17TH-PUBLIC PRESENTATION AT FROSTBURG STATE UNIVERSITY-OVER 100 CITIZENS ATTEND!

12 students delivered an outstanding presentation to approximately 115 local citizens.  Students explained the pros and cons of fracking as well as the data we have gathered and its significance for the community.  High praises were received.  In attendance were Senator George Edwards, County Commissioner William Valentine, City Administrator John Kirby, several scientists, several professors, many students, and many members of the general public.  It was a tremendous success.  Thank you State Farm for your support!

“Being part of a project of this nature is an honor.  This isn’t a mediocre science lab; this is real, this is big.  The work that we are doing could help so many people!  Hydrofracking is a very prominent topic nowadays and it’s pretty awesome to be able to provide reliable and honest information to the community as well as the government.  I was excited to go into the presentation and see such a large crowd.  It was thrilling to know that so many government officials, professors, scientists, students, and community members were interested in what we had to say!  Overall, opinions were intermixed, but no matter what side of the spectrum the citizens were on, they felt strongly about fracturing and it was clear how important it was to them.  At the beginning of my sophomore year almost two years ago, I signed up for AP Environmental Science with no real interest in an environmental job or career.  Over the past two years, I have immersed myself in the projects and work, and spent several hours a week trying to make a difference in the people and places around me.  Throughout all the time I have put into this, I have realized that I would actually like to take up environmental science during my college years.  What started out to be a small, simple project, changed my mind about who I am as a person and what I want to do with my life.  This presentation has turned out to be so much more than a “small, simple project.”’     - Jessica Smith, MRHS Junior  

MAY 13th PRESENTATION TO FROSTBURG CITY COUNCIL

MAY 13th PRESENTATION TO FROSTBURG CITY COUNCIL

Five Mountain Ridge High students gave a presentation to the Frostburg City Council members on May 13th to explain our data and findings. This presentation was directed to City Council members. No photos were taken, as it was a closed session.

MAY 9TH OFFCIAL SAMPLING DATE #9

MAY 9TH OFFCIAL SAMPLING DATE #9

On May 9th four Mountain Ridge High School students went out to gather data and samples. This sampling day was very interesting, and we got a chance to use our new Flow Tracker device! The flow tracker measures the rate and volume of flow in a stream. We were helped by Mike from the USGS. The day went well with no problems. 

MAY 16th PRESENTATION AT ROUTE FORTY ELEMENTARY

MAY 16th PRESENTATION AT ROUTE FORTY ELEMENTARY

On May 16th Mountain Ridge High School students gave a presentation to the  Savage River Watershed Assosiation (SRWA) and the public. The presentation went well, and many questions were asked. Thorough answers were given.

MAY 20TH, PENN STATE SHALE NETWORK MEETING

MAY 20TH, PENN STATE SHALE NETWORK MEETING

On May 20th, five Mountain Ridge High School students were at Penn State University for a Shale Network meeting of roughly 50 scientists. Here we learned how to better use the Hydro-Desktop software and what other leading scientists in the field of fracking were doing involving the issue of water quality. The day was fantastic.  We felt that we were very well accepted by the many in attendance and that our data is valued by the scientific community. 

MAY 30, 2013- TWENTY MOUNTAIN RIDGE STUDENTS PRESENT TO THE ENTIRE 500 MEMBER STUDENT BODY.

MAY 30, 2013- TWENTY MOUNTAIN RIDGE STUDENTS PRESENT TO THE ENTIRE 500 MEMBER STUDENT BODY.

Students who have been involved with the pre-fracking baseline project presented their findings to the entire school, reaching over 500 new students.  The presentation was a multimedia event including video, music, slide shows, and great data.  Thank you State Farm Youth Advisory Board for a terrific year and a terrific project!  We plan to continue collecting data and making it available to the public. 

JUNE 7, 2013-OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #10

JUNE 7, 2013-OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #10

Sampling day #10 was a very rainy one.  Yet, a tough crew stayed focused and completed the job with precision.  Well done!

JULY 11, 2013-OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #11

JULY 11, 2013-OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #11

Sampling Day #11 was a success and data was collected carefully and accurately.  It was another excellent crew.

AUGUST 6, 2013 - OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #12

AUGUST 6, 2013 - OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #12

Another successful sampling today with another excellent crew.  FSU Professors and a Mountain Ridge teacher helped out on this day.  It was a great chance for professionals to collaborate.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013- OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #13

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013- OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #13

Another routine sampling day on a hot day in September. Great job to the crew today.

SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2013-TRAINING DAY, YEAR 2

SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2013-TRAINING DAY, YEAR 2

Our second annual training day was a smashing success!  Approximately 100 students participated.  Many of last year's superstars came back as trainers to pass on their skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm to a new crop of field samplers.  It looks to be another great year ahead!

OCTOBER 10, 2013-OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #14

OCTOBER 10, 2013-OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #14

It was a great day in the field!  More quality data was collected.

NOVEMBER 12, 2013- OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #15

NOVEMBER 12, 2013- OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #15

Today was another successful sampling day in the snow. Information related to highway contamination from Route 68 was also gathered. Kudos to the crew!

DECEMBER 5, 2013 - MARYLAND WATER MONITORING COUNCIL PRESENTATION

DECEMBER 5, 2013 - MARYLAND WATER MONITORING COUNCIL PRESENTATION

Mountain Ridge students presented our project and data to water monitoring experts at the Maryland Water Monitoring Council in Baltimore today. We recieved and answered many questions on our project and learned a lot. We were the first high school group to ever present to the MWMC.

DECEMBER 12, 2013 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #16

DECEMBER 12, 2013 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #16

Four Mountain Ridge students heroically surmounted the difficulties of taking samples and hiking in the extremely cold Frostburg weather. Today's high was twelve degrees Fahrenheit,setting a new record for coldest weather on a field sampling day.

JANUARY 9, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #17

JANUARY 9, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #17

Another crew braved the frigid weather this month. The surfaces of all the streams were frozen solid, forcing the crew to break through the ice before sampling.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH, 2014 FIELD - OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #18

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH, 2014 FIELD - OFFICIAL SAMPLING DAY #18

Today was the most physically challenging day of our entire project.  There was about 20 inches of snow on the ground.  Thank you to New Germany State Park for lending us snowshoes.  It would have been impossible to get any field data without them.  We had a great crew!  Mission accomplished!

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #19

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #19

Today was another successful sampling trip. 

 

 

 

SATURDAY,MARCH 1 AND FRIDAY MARCH 21, 2014 - DNR MACROORGANISM FIELD TRAINING & SAMPLING

SATURDAY,MARCH 1 AND FRIDAY MARCH 21, 2014 - DNR MACROORGANISM FIELD TRAINING & SAMPLING

On March 1, three students went to DNR certification session to be certified for macroorganism analysis. This will allow our students to gather field data about macroorganisms. On the 21, the students were actually able to put these new skills into practice when they collected field data.

THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014 - TWIN RIDGES WIND FARM FIELD TRIP

THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014 - TWIN RIDGES WIND FARM FIELD TRIP

The entire AP Environmental Science class went on a field trip to the Twin Ridges Wind Farm to learn about the pros and cons of wind energy from a primary source (a wind turbine engineer). Knowing the pros and cons of other sources of energy, particularly renewable energy such as wind, will allow the students to better compare hydraulic fracturing for natural gas to wind energy.

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #20

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #20

Our crew did another good job and collected more quality field data.

THURSDAY,MAY 8, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #21

THURSDAY,MAY 8, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #21

Four more students went out on another sampling trip today.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, 2014 - PRESENTATION AT UMCES APPALACHIAN LAB

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, 2014 - PRESENTATION AT UMCES APPALACHIAN LAB

The AP Environmental Science class took a field trip to the UMCES Appalachian Lab to present our project, methods, and data to scientists and the public. As the final scheduled field sampling day is in August, we ended the presentation by asking the audience what we should do after the final scheduled sampling day.

THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #22

THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 2014 - OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAY #22

The crew collected new data in another routine field sampling day.

OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAYS-JULY AND OCTOBER 2014

OFFICIAL FIELD SAMPLING DAYS-JULY AND OCTOBER 2014

July 2014 marked the completion of 2 full years of pre-fracking baseline sampling.  As the future of fracking in Maryland is uncertain, our program is now shifting to sampling once every three months.  It is our hope to continue into the future, but we are seeking more funding to continue the effort.

Choose a different project.

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