Applied Ecology Macro-invertebrate Studies

Students in the Applied Ecology: Systems Thinking course conducted macro-invertebrate bio-assessments as a part of their riparian systems ecology unit.  Macro-invertebrates are often used as indicators of stream health because they respond rapidly to polluted waters.  They can therefore be used to understand the relationship between riparian areas, aquatic ecosystems, and the land use of the surrounding area, which is part of the larger system of water and watersheds.  The students measured how the macro-invertebrate population in the koi pond changes over time, and also collected and studied invertebrates in the Sabino Creek riparian zone for comparison.