Webster Ecology Class Researches Pollution at Kiefer Creek

| November 13, 2012
Webster University ecology studies at Kiefer Creek

Says Webster instructor Jeff DePew: “Kiefer Creek is a great model for the ecology class—really, for anyone studying ecology, studying urban planning, and studying how cities change.”

By outward appearance, Kiefer Creek is a clear, gurgling Ozark stream, the kind that begs visitors to take their shoes off and go wading.

But looks can be deceiving. The west St. Louis County stream often carries high levels of bacterial contamination, a situation that environmental organizations as well as concerned area residents would like to remedy.

Webster University environmental and biological studies

Webster students examine a rock for invertebrates.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment, the Metropolitan Sewer District, state park officials and residents are in the early stages of developing a plan to reduce pollution in the stream and its tributaries.

Among those who have come to the aid of Kiefer Creek are the students in Webster University’s fall 2012 ecology class (BIOL 3200 & 3201).

Under the guidance of instructor Jeff DePew, the students took water samples from the stream on three different occasions and analyzed their findings.

Copies of students’ in-depth lab reports were given to the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, which recently received a Missouri Department of Natural Resources grant to study the Kiefer Creek watershed.

The students’ findings will go into a database that has been set up to help researchers decipher the creek’s fluctuating E. coli levels, which in turn will help determine how the watershed might be restructured…

Read the full story, student quotes, how it inspired one student to start a business, and see more photos at Global Thinking, the blog of the Webster University College of Arts & Sciences.

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Category: Featured, Student Affairs and News, Webster News

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