Southwestern University EcoLab
Advisor: Willis Weigand
Southwestern University recently began an initiative called Ecolab. Ecolab is university owned land located east of campus off of Highway 29. Still in its early stages, Ecolab is guided by student leadership and work; and is becoming a beneficial program and asset for the university. Ecolab allows students to gain invaluable experience doing environmental field work such as water quality analysis and sediment collection. For this specific portion of the Ecolab project, we will accomplish a macrofauna survey via the installation of GameCams, continuation of chemical water analyses, sediment and soil analysis. A related portion that will not use King Creativity funds is restoration work that will include invasive species removal, vegetative and brush control, trash removal, and creation of designated paths to the sampling sites. Conducting these analyses is fundamental to developing an understanding of the fluvial system present in Ecolab. In doing so, this will develop a better understanding of the factors that affect the health of this system and how they might be changed. This project demonstrates Southwestern’s commitment towards sustainability and offers a diverse opportunity for hands-on field work for students of a variety of academic interests.