Visual Stream Assessment and Physical Data

The purpose of  the visually assessing the stream and measuring its physical properties, is to get some background information about the stream and its overall health, before studying the stream more carefully.

The Riparian buffer helps to reduce erosion and lessen sediment pollution, so a good riparian buffer is indicative of little erosion. Benthic substrate is good stuff. The In-stream habitat can tell us what kind of fish and macroinvertabrates would be able to live in the stream.

Stream flow is important to know because if the water is flowing too quickly then the stream cannot foster a healthy ecosystem. This is because erosion increases and nutrient build up is difficult in water that moves too quickly. Temperature is important because different kinds of fish and other organisms thrive best in varying temperatures. Temperature is also related to dissolved oxygen; cooler water has greater solubility than does warmer water. If the water is too warm then the levels of oxygen dissolved in the water may be lower than is healthy for the organisms living in the stream. The turbidity of the water indicates the levels of sediment pollution, the clearer the water the better.

In conducting a visual assessment of the stream we first began by finding the appropriate length of the section we would observe. We measured the width of the stream (43 ft) and multiplied that by 12 and that distance (179 ft) was the length of the stream we observed. To observe the stream we stopped  and noticed the stream’s surroundings, its direction, the color and turbidity of the water as well as other observations. We took notes as we did this

To measure the physical properties of the stream we measured the width of the stream in two different places and measured the depth in several places along the width of the stream. Then to find the stream flow we measured the time it took for a tennis ball to get from one point on the stream to another point further downstream. To measure turbidity a large, clear cylindrical tube was filled with water from an area of the stream where the sediment had settled to the bottom. Then the water was drained until the bottom of the tube could be seen through the water from the top. The amount of water left in the tube was measured and that measurement was used as the turbidity.

average cross-sectional area: 79 ft

length of stream reach: 45 ft

Coefficient: .8

travel Time: 15 mins

Flow: 3.16


Final Reflective Blog

Over the course of the week we did many activities that included numerous presentations from knowledgeable speakers, testing several aspects of New Hope Creek’s water quality, and learning valuable information about college and job applications. We also visited the Smart House which was very interesting, and prepared a presentation on benthic macroinvertebrates, and their role in water quality indication. I had a really great week and learned a lot as well. Thank you Duke.

Final Reflective Blog

This week we did a variety of activities that both helped use in our knowledge of science and preparation for college.  By analyzing the water chemistry to catching macroinvertebrates, we learned what characteristics are significant in determining overall water quality.

We also had many presentations about college.  We learned about college interviews, resumes, applications, and much more.  I learned many valuable life skills throughout the week and am glad that I did ESSP.

My Final Reflection on Duke ESSP

It’s my last day the Duke ESSP program and over the last few days I’ve realized that the program has really grown on me. Everyone here is really enthusiastic about what we’re doing every day. Even after only going to the creek three times, it was sad leaving Thursday afternoon. I’ve also really appreciated the advice about college, jobs etc. that I’ve gotten throughout this week. In summary, I really loved the camp and our activities, and I’ll miss it a lot.

Though endings eventually come, beginnings will result.  Time flows ever onward, but when one experience or situation ends, another will rise to take its place.  Thus, endings are a time of reflection on the experience in question and to look forward at what is to come.


The past week has definitely been interesting for Nolan.  Nolan has enjoyed the amount of field experience conducted as a part of the ESSP, and wishes to do more in the future.  Nolan also learned a great deal about the college admissions process and how to select a school from the tens of thousands across the country, and Nolan wishes the same benefit to all those who will participate in the program in the future.






Final Day and Conclusion

I truly appreciate the experience and information that ESSP has provided to me this week. Information about colleges, careers, public speaking, and stream ecosystems has expanded my knowledge immensely and prepared me for the future. I hope this program can continue to provide information to future students in the area.

Final Reflection ESSP

This week was really fun. I loved the games and the experience in the creek (except almost drowning). I like meeting the people in the program and learning new things. It was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I describe this program as very fun, I think it is a good experience and not a lot of kids get the opportunity that I got to be in this program. Another way that I would describe this program is that it is a good chance to learn more things that you don’t get to learn when you are in school.

Final Post!!!

Today is the last day of ESSP. I think this has been one of the best experiences this summer. I was able to learn more about a subject that I have a lot of interest in. My favorite part was going to the creek, the volunteering/ pelican’s day, and learning about college from Tori. I think this is an excellent program and I would recommend it to everyone who has even the slightest interest in science or nature. Nikki, Tori, and Katie were super nice, not teacher-like, which was cool. I liked this week. I’m glad that I signed up.

reflection for my last day

This was a great experience to have under my belt i would have never known some of the things i found out this week. i met new people and explored the forest even the stream! i got wet a few times but that’s okay cause it was really fun and worth it. the last day i was here which is today we found micro invertebrates they were very interesting and they even fought each other a little. but overall this was a great experience and would love to do it again.