Day 1

We will begin the program on campus discussing the current status of water resources in Virginia and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

In the afternoon, we will tour the Harrisonburg Water Treatment plant to learn about drinking water quality, treatment processes, and water distribution systems. This course and subject matter will relate directly to careers in water resources and water supply.

North River in George Washington National Forest

North River in George Washington National Forest


Day 2

We will begin touring the watershed, beginning in the headwaters of the Shenandoah Mountain in George Washington National Forest.

We will explore the waterways in the national forest. We will use engineering equipment of measure water flow, evaluate dissolve oxygen levels in the water and the suspended solids concentration in the water. At Elkhart Lake we will observe and test the water quality of this drinking water reservoir for dissolved oxygen levels, suspended solids concentration and pH. In order to access different parts of the lake, we will kayak in the lake and take deep water samples.

The instructor has kayaked with 3 US olympic whitewater team members and will teach the class basic water safety and kayaking techniques. As an experienced whitewater instructor, you'll learn proper methods to paddle on flatware and we will use these skills throughout the course. No prior kayaking experience is required.

We will continue to explore the watershed evaluating water quality by hiking the North River Canyon, which supplies about 50% of the drinking water for Rockingham County. We will also evaluate stream biodiversity and sediment transport in the stream. This work is conducted in partnership with the Cowpasture River Preservation Association, Friends of Shenandoah Mountain and the Shenandoah Valley Network. We will also evaluate stream biodiversity and sediment transport in the stream.

Kayaking in the George Washington National Forest

Kayaking in the George Washington National Forest


DAy 3

We will study water hydraulics and water treatment principles. In the afternoon, we will visit the wastewater treatment plant in Mt. Crawford and see how hydraulic theory and treatment design is put into practice. The American Society of Civil Engineers give water infrastructure in the country a grade of D+, so there is a long backlog of work to be complete in the coming years.

Water engineers who understand the  basics of hydrology and hydraulics are in great demand, with an expectation of a growing job market in the coming decade. Starting salaries for water scientist and engineers are typically in the 60,000 dollar range with a full benefit package. JMU engineers have been hired in multiple water engineering positions, and will be invited to contribute to the course. 

Pump, internal and external view

Pump, internal and external view


Roadway in the northern part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Roadway in the northern part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

DAY 4

We will begin to explore the more northern headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. We will drive North along the Appalachian Mountains that divide the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Ohio Valley. The Water Resources facilities at The Pennsylvania State University will be our destination for the day.

Meet with Professors William Burgos and Peggy Johnson at Penn State. We will tour the Penn State Water Resources laboratories and learn about opportunities for graduate work in water engineering.

There will be time to visit State College and tour the town. With dinner next to campus at either the Corner Room or the Allen Street Grill. We will stay overnight in cabins near State College, and have breakfast the following day at the Waffle Shop, the locals' favorite breakfast spot. 


Kayaking Sinnemahoning Reservoir

Kayaking Sinnemahoning Reservoir

DAY 5

We will explore water quality control George B. Stevenson dam and water quality in Sinnemahoning State Park Reservoir. Once again, we'll climb in kayaks to explore dissolved oxygen and turbidity at various depths in the lake and compare that to the incoming water and outflow from the dam. 

There will be opportunities to explore one of the most biodiverse areas of the watershed. We are likely to see bald eagles, black bear, whitetail deer, and elk near Sinnemahoning. Bring your camera, water shoes and kayak paddle as we tour this remote area and examine the impacts of energy development through hydraulic fracturing for natural gas recovery in the area. The dynamics of water, energy, environment, the economy and social conditions intersect in this mountainous region of the watershed.

If you have your camera, there will be opportunities to learn about nature, landscape and even underwater photography. This scenic area has been the subject of many award winning photographs. Enjoy kayaking the lake and wading in Sinnemahoning Creek. If you purchase a 3 day Pennsylvania Fishing License, you'll even have the opportunity to go fishing in this Heritage Classifies Trout Stream for both stocked and native trout. If you've never gone fishing, we'll teach you how to do that the following day.

Bull Elk in Sinnemahoning State Park

Bull Elk in Sinnemahoning State Park


Native Brook Trout in Sinnemahoning Watershed

Native Brook Trout in Sinnemahoning Watershed

DAY 6

We will wake up and make our breakfast in a Cabin along Sinnemahoning Creek. After breakfast, we will compare and contrast the biodiversity and water conditions between the southern and northern headwaters in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This area is home to a large natural gas and hydraulic fracturing industry, and we will explore and investigate the impacts of these industries on both water quality and macro invertebrate populations in the streams and reservoirs. 

In addition, you'll have to work for dinner on this day, as we will tour a trout farm and learn how they keep their fish health and monitor water quality. You'll need to catch your own dinner. Everyone will have a chance to bring home their own dinner at the trout farm. 

There will be time this evening for enjoying the creekside cabin and wildlife in the area. During this time of year, it very likely whitetail dear will be walking by the cabin with fawns, and if we're lucky we may see baby black bears as they emerge from their dens this time of year and begin to explore the area.


DAY 7

Our last day in the Sinnemahoning creekside cabin. We will evaluate flood control structures and hydraulics. We'll visit Lyman Run State Park to see how new flood control structures are designed and developed. There, weather allowing, we will take a kayak tour of the lake, where will likely see Canadian Geese nesting along with other waterfowl. We may also see how nature's dam builders - Beaver also create ponding and modify streams near Lyman Lake. There will be a chance to reflect upon how water resource have driven and changed the economy and character of this area over the past decade. Think Big, Dream Big, Build Smart. See how you can be a Game Changer as a water engineer.

 


Ducks on Lyman Run Reservoir

Ducks on Lyman Run Reservoir