Natural Resource Management Students Study Didymo
At Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, learning takes place both in and out of the classroom. Natural Resource Management students are getting hands on experience studying Didymo, with the Roaring Fork Conservancy, in the Lower Frying Pan River.
So what is Didymo? Didymo is a nuisance algae that is native in the Lower Frying Pan River but has recently become an explosive problem. Didymo covers rocks and other surfaces in the river with a thick stringy slime that is covering all possible rock surface areas in the Lower Frying Pan River – choking out the habitat making it difficult for aquatic life to survive.
The Frying Pan river is a gold medal fishing site and didymo will cause a decrease in the fish population – negatively effecting the fishing on the Lower Frying Pan.
Natural Resource Management students are studying the problem using water quality probes, a viewing bucket and different volumetric algae sampling techniques to gather base data on the didymo issue. The data that the Natural Resource Management students gather through this study will be used to help understand the didymo problem as well as grow their experience outside of the classroom.
“We’re outdoors. You’re not in a classroom learning out of a book. We’re here taking samples out of the river.”