20 Winter 2015 l cbf.org
Sam Woolford, an educator for CBF’s Potomac River Program, works with students
to understand the connection between urban communities and the greater watershed.
CBF educator Claire Cambardella oversees students
aboard the Bea Hayman Clark testing water from
the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers for its temperature,
salinity, pH, dissovled oxygen, and other quality issues.
Do unto those downstream, as you would have those upstream do unto you.” This is CBF
Educator Sam Woolford’s favorite quote.
Woolford and fellow educator and Captain
Eric Marshall run CBF’s Potomac River
Field Education Program on the Potomac
and Anacostia Rivers in Washington, D.C.
Their floating classroom, the Bea Hayman
Clark, accommodates up to 30 students per
day for an on-the-water view of the nation’s
capital and the city’s connection to the
Chesapeake Bay watershed.
These students couldn’t be in more capable
hands. Woolford has a master’s degree
in conservation ecology and sustainable
development from the University of
Georgia and dual degrees in Geology and
Biology from Brown. His experience in
environmental education spans from Save
the Bay Narragansett in Rhode Island to
community outreach at the University of
Georgia. Captain Marshall, who’s been with
CBF for 20 years, has worked as a commercial waterman. Together, they help students
discover how the aquatic worlds of the
Anacostia and Potomac Rivers are linked to
daily city life.
As on other CBF education experiences, students trawl to collect fish and record species
diversity and, using state-of-the-art equipment, test water-quality for pH, temperature,
dissolved oxygen, salinity, turbidity, and
other indicators. With a complete picture of
the health of the two rivers, students can
make comparisons and, using an onboard
wireless laptop, compare their findings to
the data of professional Bay scientists.
Additional technology is being piloted on
the Potomac River Program as well. Students
can collect and examine plankton from the
river with special microscopes and monitors.
Water-quality discussions get a hands-on
component as Captain Marshall steers the
students to investigate urban runoff from
storm drains, discharge from a sewage treatment plant, and effluent from power plants.
Woolford and Marshall weave together
strands from various disciplines to give participants new perspectives on the watershed. They discover what goes on along the
river banks affects water quality, and, we
hope, they leave understanding the
upstream-downstream Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule of Water Quality
Students Discover Cause and Effect Along D.C.’s Rivers
ARLINGTON EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION