Monument students study groundwater

Dr. Michael Cummings, head of Oregon State University geology department, recently worked with Monument High students on a watershed project. Contributed photo

MONUMENT - Little is known of how entering groundwater supplies are affecting our river and stream temperatures. Groundwater flows extend across many miles of complex underground geological formations. The hydrogeology involved is complex, and varies greatly from one location to the next along any river.

Dr. Michael Cummings, head of Oregon State University geology department and a team of researchers collaborated recently with Monument High School science students, teacher Rocky Farber, and local conservation organizations.

The team had Monument students collect data for the graduate level research project.

They sampled chemical and temperature structures of the river and selected groundwater contributions around the Monument area.

The group used topographic maps and made observations of geologic and hydrogeological formations. Their data will form the beginning framework of a much larger study to map the effects of entering groundwater flows to river and stream temperatures.

The questions related to groundwater influences on water temperature that are being assessed in this research are directly relevant to local efforts of the Monument Soils and Water Conservation District, and the North Fork John Day Watershed Council.

The field research with Portland State University gave Monument students an opportunity to participate in relevant and important research. Their efforts mapping the complexities of groundwater impact may eventually help promote agricultural irrigation, vibrant rural communities, and healthy runs of salmon and steelhead.

Monument science students working with Dr. Cummings and his team were: Katie Cox, Jammie Adams, Brittany Osburn, Sandy Spencer, Madi Anspach and Guy Andersen.

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