Dr. Elizabeth Rielly-Carroll, Assistant Professor of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to help purchase the necessary equipment to study the local ecology surrounding Holy Family University with her students.
Rielly-Carroll’s grant, titled “Holy Family University: Using the Local Environment in Urban Environmental Science Classrooms” is worth $2,870 and will be used for environmental sampling equipment like nets, seines, water testing probes, a set of waders for students, field guides, and soil testing kits.
“The goal of the grant is to have students learn environmental science by doing rather than by lecture,” Rielly-Carroll said. “We partner with Friends of the Poquessing, a citizens’ science group that monitors the Poquessing Creek, which runs right behind Holy Family University. This equipment will also facilitate future student research.”
Rielly-Carroll’s class has partnered with Friends of the Poquessing the past few semesters, joining the team at the creek during their water testing demonstration, as well as taking observational notes of the surrounding area.
In addition to the Holy Family grant, Rielly-Carroll is a part of the Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation team that received a sizeable grant to do water-quality testing in the Poconos. She hopes that Holy Family University students will eventually be able to team up with Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation to further their knowledge about ecological issues in Pennsylvania.
“The funding from this grant will be used to set up a regional observation network for Pocono Lakes,” she said. “Essentially, individuals can take one of our training courses, borrow some monitoring equipment, and take measurements of water quality in the Poconos. It will help landowners better understand and manage their lake water quality, disseminate credible scientific information pertaining to water quality and lake health, assess regional aquatic health in Poconos, and develop a regionally-coordinated environmental monitoring network. Hopefully, we will be able to get some Holy Family students on board planning some of the workshops and taking on small research projects.”