The Whitefish High School FREEFLOW Club recently began a long-term project to study water quality and dispersed campsite changes along the North Fork of the Flathead River. Prior to time spent on the river, students reviewed past United States Geological Survey water quality studies and researched land use changes in the North Fork Valley. Based on initial research, students developed a study plan with the following goals: monitor and assess dispersed river-use campsites; examine chemical, physical and biological water quality parameters; increase student opportunities to work with scientists and natural resource managements professionals; integrate with Forest Service and Park Service Wild and Scenic River managers and their long-term monitoring goals; and make data publicly accessible through a student created online ESRI Story Map.
This long-term project, which strengthens an established program of field-based science at Whitefish HS, was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of The Coca-Cola Company and the Coca-Cola Foundation. Additional support and contributions were received from the Glacier National Park Conservancy, Whitefish Community Foundation, Flathead Conservation District, Whitefish Lake Institute, Becker Busing and Glacier Raft Company. Funds received from our project partners helped purchase field sampling equipment that will enable students to explore our Wild and Scenic Rivers for many years to come. We are greatly appreciative for such broad support, it enables unique educational opportunities for area high school students. Field-based science education can help in building the next generation of resource stewards for special places like the North Fork.
Whitefish High School FREEFLOW