Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.
-Thomas Edison

About Me:  My name is Megan Flansburg and I am a senior at William Monroe High School, Class of 2011.  My passion for the environment and the earth sciences led me to focus my BRVGS Senior Project in the field of environmental science.  Outside of BRVGS, I am the drum major of the Marching Dragons here at WMHS and am a co-captain of the WMHS Quiz Bowl Scholastic Team.  I'm also an active member of the Civil Air Patrol cadet program, am a Union Civil War re-enactor, and am an alto voice in the Greene County Singers.  I believe a wide-variety of activities help to make me more balanced.

My Internship:
  My internship was served with StreamWatch, an volunteer based organization that monitors stream health in the Rivanna Watershed (the Central Virginia area).  StreamWatch monitors stream health by collecting and recording benthic macroinvertebrates living in the stream.  My mentor for this internship is Rose Brown, the program manager of StreamWatch.  StreamWatch provides data and research both to the community at large and to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ).  Through this internship I have gained valuable experience in field work, collection, and data analyzing that I hope to use in my future career.

My Research:
  The project the StreamWatch team and I focused on monitors the effects an open-access cattle pasture has on stream health.  (Known by StreamWAtch as  The Cattle Field Project.)  My research for this project led me to determine the answer to my research question--What is the affect of open-access cattle fields on benthic macroinvertebrate communities, what does this mean in terms of stream health, and what methods would be the best to correct any harmful effects?  After conducting samples from four different sites, above and below the cattle pasture at Buck Mt. Creek, I concluded that the pasture did have a negative effect on the stream's health.  My research paper states:

    As is evident from the lower stream score downstream from the cattle pasture, the pasture has had a negative effect on the overall health of Buck Mt. Creek.  Because the scores and the number of mayflies drop significantly from the upstream site to the downstream site, it can be assumed that the site downstream is more polluted than the upstream site.

**StreamWatch does not give suggestions, but only provides data and research to VADEQ and the Rivanna River community.  StreamWatch will wait to publish any research on this particular project until sampling is completed both at Buck Mountain Creek and Moormon's River**

Figure A:  Another volunteer and I performing the third net of our first sampling at Riffle A @667 at Buck Mt. Creek.

My Community Service:  My community service was also being served with StreamWatch.  For my service, I entered a year's worth of back-logged data from sites across the watershed into the StreamWatch database and quality controlled field and lab records before they were entered.  

My Legacy:  The legacy of my internship and my community service is that I provided viable academic research associated with pollution in the watershed for continued environmental research and I aided in the clean-up of the Rivanna Watershed.

Recent Journals

  • Week 35: 4/17-4/23/11 S P R I N G  B R E A K !    I'm also preparing to go back out to BKM04 and BKM06 with Tana, Becky, and Melba next Monday ...
    Posted Apr 27, 2011, 10:52 AM by Unknown user
  • Week 34: 4/10-4/16/11 After my practice presentation this week, Ms. Newman gave me some tips: -control my hands -speak out, I need more volume when presenting -don't spend too much time talking ...
    Posted Apr 27, 2011, 10:49 AM by Unknown user
  • Week 33: 4/3-4/9/11 I worked hard this week to put the finishing touches on my website!  I've made a separate page about StreamWatch and I finally was able to get the pictures ...
    Posted Apr 27, 2011, 10:46 AM by Unknown user
  • Week 32: 3/27-4/2/11 Phew!  Saturday night was our third and last performance of the musical and now I have more free-time after school to focus on my BRVGS presentation, board, and website ...
    Posted Apr 5, 2011, 10:15 AM by Unknown user
  • Week 31: 3/20-3/26/11 We got our visit/interview on Tuesday of this week.  Each of us talked about the basic concepts behind our internship and community service and stated what we thought was ...
    Posted Apr 5, 2011, 10:05 AM by Unknown user
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