Clean Water Institute News

H.S. Student Conducts Research at Lycoming College

Posted: Apr 8, 2008

Vanessa Pizutelli, a senior at Colonia High School, Colonia, NJ, conducted research on the Eastern Hellbender Salamander with the assistance of Dr. Peter Petokas while visiting Lycoming College in the fall of 2007. Her project, entitled "Evidence of Saprolegnia Growth Suppression in Cryptobranchus alleganiensis Mucoid Secretions" recently won Second Place at the NJ Regional Science Fair and Honorable Mention at the Monmouth University Junior Science Symposium. Vanessa has been invited to participate at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Orlando, Florida, and will attend Cornell University following graduation.

Faculty and Students Attend the PA Academy of Sciences

Posted: Apr 7, 2008

Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Dr. Peter Petokas, and undergraduates Brent Hile ('09), Nicole Rhodes ('08), and Jen Yuda ('08) attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences Annual Meetings held April 4-5, 2008, in Grantville, PA. Jen Yuda presented a paper during the Aquatic Ecology session chaired by Dr. Zimmerman. Brent Hile, Nicole Rhodes, and Dr. Petokas gave poster presentations on their research projects. The meetings were also attended by Dr. Mary Morrison, and undergraduates Peter Via and Ashley Campbell.

Zimmerman & Petokas at Lehigh Valley Conference

Posted: Mar 31, 2008

Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Dr. Peter Petokas were invited speakers at the Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference held in Fogelsville, PA, on March 28, 2008. Their presentation was entitled Stream Restoration Past, Present, and Future - In Search of the Silver Bullet

Zimmerman Invited Speaker at Lycoming County Banquet

Posted: Mar 27, 2008

Dr. Mel Zimmerman was the invited speaker at the 48th Annual Lycoming County Conservation Awards Banquet held in Pennsdale, PA, on March 25, 2008.. His presentation was entitled The Susquehanna River Watershed: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

CWI Awarded an IMC/KIZ Business Development Grant

Posted: March 1, 2008

Dr. Zimmerman and the Clean Water Institute have also been awarded (March 2008) a second $5,000 grant from IMC/KIZ - Center for Business and Workforce Development to work with Cromaglass Corporation of Williamsport (a manufacturer of wastewater treatment systems) to test a new process for improved nitrogen and sediment removal. Funds will be used to support supplies and a student intern during the summer.

Zimmerman & Petokas at Keystone Coldwater Conference

Posted: Feb 25, 2008

Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Dr. Peter Petokas participated in the Keystone Coldwater Conference held on February 22-23, 2008, at the PennStater Conference Center in State College, PA. Dr. Zimmerman presented a three-hour Headwater Taxonomy and Field Identification of Macroinvertebrates workshop and they both presented a posters on the Keystone Stream Team and Hellbender Research projects.

Dr. Mel Zimmerman Interviewed on Global Warming Issue

Posted: Jan 4, 2008

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette published an interview with Clean Water Institute director Mel Zimmerman on the issue of Global Warming on Monday, December 31, 2007. Dr. Zimmerman stressed that although the trends are alarming, we can't be sure that humans are the primary cause or that the weather and climate changes are not a natural phenomenon.

Dr. Mel Zimmerman Studies Tropical Ecology in Belize

Posted: Nov 5, 2007

From October 28 to November 3, 2007, Dr. Mel Zimmerman was one of 11 College faculty to participate in a workshop held in Belize on "Teaching Tropical Field Biology in Central America." The workshop was funded and organized by Dr Eugene Kaplan, Distinguished Professor of Conservation and Ecology, Hofstra University. Participants spent three days at the Cottentree Lodge Field Station ( outside Punta Gorda) to study tropical forest ecology and three days at the Marine TREC field station on San Pedro Key.

Hellbender Research Featured in Wilkes-Barre Paper

Posted: Sep 17, 2007

On Sunday, September 16th, the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader ran two feature articles on Hellbender salamander research being conducted by Dr. Peter Petokas and student interns from Lycoming College Clean water Institute. The outdoor writer for the paper, Mr. Tom Venesky, spent a day with Dr. Petokas on Lycoming Creek to experience what it takes to catch and tag the giant salamanders.

Japanese Students and Teacher Visit Lycoming

Posted: Jul 20, 2007

On Monday July 9th, two Japanese High School students (Shinya Bouta and Masato Nitta) and one Japanese teacher (Tatsumi Morita) arrived from Hiroshima, Japan to Williamsport, PA. These students were on Fulbright scholarship to present their research on the DNA sequence comparison of the Japanese, Chinese, and American giant salamanders.

Their week was a busy one. They spent Tuesday morning touring Lycoming College's campus. The afternoon consisted of sharing information and current research between Lycoming College students and the Japanese students. Shinya and Masato from Super Science High School (SSH), Hiroshima presented their work on the Giant Japanese salamander and the DNA sequences found. Dr. Peter Petokas and Arianna Brawn presented their work on the Eastern Hellbender. Since the Giant Japanese salamander is endangered in Japan, these students had little experience with handling these creatures, so on Wednesday the students and teacher spent an entire day out in the field. They snorkeled and waded, flipped rocks, hand captured, and helped collect data on Hellbender salamanders (something they were not used to). Thursday and Friday was spent touring Williamsport where they visited the Little League Museum, Reptiland, cruised on the Hiawatha, and ate at local restaurants.

Summer 2007 Interns and Projects

Posted: July 20, 2007

It is summertime once again and the Lycoming College's Clean Water Institute interns are busy. They have been trained and are currently working on their individual projects assigned by Clean Water Institute director, Dr. Mel Zimmerman. These projects include:

  1. Monitoring stream sites along Lycoming Creek including stream restoration near Roaring Branch and continued AMD analysis in watershed.
  2. River monitoring along a 75 mile stretch of the West Branch of the Susquehanna between Lock Haven and Sunbury.
  3. Second year evaluation of the Riparian Buffer Project at the PP&L Montour Preserve along Chillisquaque Creek. Interns will also look at plant survival rates of these plants along he creek.
  4. Small mammal trapping survey to look at species diversity of the Riparian Buffer Project at PP&L Montour Preserve along Chillisquaque Creek. Dr. Dave Broussard and a few interns helped with this project. Pictures
  5. Monitoring along Mill Creek and Rose Valley Lake.
  6. Monitoring study on Eagles Mere.
  7. Sixth year follow-up study of the Big Bear Creek Stream Restoration Project including an evaluation of the tributaries for impact of acid precipitation.
  8. Working with Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies (SRHCES) to develop a technical advisory group of college faculty and interns to assist watershed groups.
  9. Second year monitoring of Eastern Hellbender populations in tributaries of the West Branch of the Susquehanna.
  10. Working with Cromaglass Corp. to test efficiency of one of their SBR sewage treatment systems. Cromaglass Website
  11. Developing a State of the Heartland Report Card for the Susquehanna River with SRHCES.
  12. Continued data entry of water quality parameters in POWR

Funding: This years projects are supported by grants from Degenstein Foundation, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Growing Greener Grants to Lycoming College CWI (with partners from SRHCES), and a Growing Greener Grant to Lycoming Creek Watershed Association.

The students working on these various projects include: Arianna Brawn (Portsmouth, NH), Kate Olsen (Muncy, PA), Michelle Taylor (Montoursville, PA), Brent Hile (Linden, PA), Jen Stinner (Bangor, PA), Brittany Barto (Hugesville, PA), and Tapuwa Munjoma (Baltimore, MD).

Roundtable Discussion

Posted: July 10, 2007

Dr. Mel Zimmerman can be heard as one of eight panel discussion members of the West Branch Susquehanna River Restoration Coalition being interviewed for an hour segment of "Boroughs to the Bay and Beyond" - a Roundtable discussion on Sunday July 15th being played on 6 sister stations of Sunbury Broadcasting.
After the segment airs, it can be heard again from the archives of the Roundtable series on http://www.WKOK.com.

3rd Hellbender Symposium

Posted: June 14, 2007

From June 10th to June 13th, Dr. Peter Petokas, as well as two students: Brent Hile and Arianna Brawn, spent the days discussing Hellbenders at the 3rd Hellbender Symposium held at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV. The first day of the conference was spent out in the streams in search of Hellbenders. Most groups found between 7 and 9 Hellbenders at each stream site. The second day of the conference was spent presenting papers on current research, results, and future work. Brawn presented 1 paper (the only undergraduate to present) and Petokas presented 3 papers at the symposium.

Exploring Roatan

Posted: June 14, 2007

This year's (2007) Tropical Marine Biology (BIO 329) May term course included a weeklong field trip to the Roatan Institute for Marine Science, located in Bay Islands, Honduras. The reefs around Roatan are part of the Meso-American reef (the second largest barrier reef system in the world).

You can view the poster of the trip or visit the blog at http://hondurasmay.blogspot.com

A Day at Indian Park

Posted: June 14, 2007

On Friday May 25th, 2007, Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Clean Water Institute Interns - Arianna Brawn, Kate Olsen, Amber Rock, and Nicole Rhodes, participated for the 6th year in the Montoursville Ground Water Education at Indian Park in Montoursville. This program involved four classes of 4th grade students from Lyter Elementary and four classes from Loyalsock Valley Elementary schools. The students spent the day rotating between programs on water testing and drinking water by Montoursville Borough staff, watersheds by DEP staff, ground water simulation by staff from Larson Design, and aquatic life of Nicely Pond and local streams by Lycoming Clean Water Institute (CWI) staff. CWI, with the help of Carey Entz— Lycoming Co. Watershed specialist and Lycoming College alumni— demonstrated fish collection and identification with a seine, aquatic macro invertebrate identification, and some biology of some local amphibians, including the Hellbender salamander and other reptiles.

Dr. Petokas Presents to R. B. Winter Trout Unlimited

Posted: April 21, 2007

Dr. Peter Petokas gave a presentation to the R. B. Winter Trout Unlimited group in Lewisburg, PA, on Wednesday, April 18, 2007. His presentation was entitled "Kiss a Hellbender and Free a Prince," and Other Hellbender Talesand included live Hellbender salamanders for a hands-on experience with the giant creatures. On Wednesday, April 11, 2007, Dr. Petokas gave a presentation at PP&L's Montour Preserve in Washingtonville, PA. His presentation was entitled In Search of Pennsylvania's Loch Ness Monster: The Eastern Hellbender. Biology faculty member Dave Broussard assisted with the presentation.

Lyco Places First in PA in Seventh Annual RecycleMania

Posted: April 17, 2007

Lycoming College students, faculty and staff placed first in the state and 11th in the nation [in Targeted Material-Bottles and Cans] in the Seventh Annual RecycleMania competition. Final results show that Lycoming College recycled an average of 11 lbs of materials per student during the ten-week competition that concluded last week. This year a record number of 201 colleges and universities competed in RecycleMania in the nation, including 11 higher education institutions from Pennsylvania.

CWI Students and L.E.A.F. Assist with Park Cleanup

Posted: April 8, 2007

On March 31st, 2007, about 30 volunteers labored through brambles, fallen branches and poison ivy to clean up about a quarter-mile stretch of woods and wetlands in Susquehanna State Park off Reach Road in Williamsport. Five students from Lycoming College also participated: Kathryn Stoufer, Gary Sherman, Jennie Yuda, Melissa Spink and Jordan Greene. They were members of the college’s organization called L.E.A.F. (Lycoming Environmental Awareness Foundation), a club "dedicated to the promotion of environmental awareness within Lycoming College and the community through the use of educational programs, local field activities and outdoor recreation."

Dr.Mel Zimmerman and CWI Interns Attend PAS 2007

Posted: April 4, 2007

Dr. Mel Zimmerman and CWI interns Arianna Brawn, Neihl Williamson, Lindsey Postaski, Chris Dempsey, and Nicole Rhodes attended the Annual Meetings of the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences in Pittsburgh, PA, on March 31-April 1, 2007. Dr. Zimmerman presented a paper on Use of an On-site Sequencing Batch Reactor to Satisfy a Total Nitrogen Discharge Limit; Neihl Williamson presented a poster entitled Population Structure and Habitat Preferences of the Eastern Hellbender; Arianna Brawn presented a poster entitled Physical Abnormalities in the the Eastern Hellbender; Chris Dempsey presented a paper entitled Vegetation Analysis and Population Study of the White Tailed Deer at PPL Montour Preserve Montour County, PA; and Lindsey Postaski and Nicole Rhodes presented a poster entitled Water Quality Assessment of the Lower West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

Photos from the 2007 PAS Annual Meeting

Dr. Petokas Presents at Kettle Creek Outdoor Show

Posted: April 2, 2007

Dr. Peter Petokas gave a presentation at the Kettle Creek Valley Outdoor Show in Cross Fork, PA, on Saturday, March 31, 2007. His presentation was entitled The Hellbender Salamanders of Pennsylvania and their History in the Kettle Creek Watershed and included live Hellbender salamanders for a hands-on experience with the giant creatures. On Sunday, April 1, 2007, Dr. Petokas gave a presentation to the Keystone Divers group in McElhattan, PA. His presentation was entitled Hellbender Tales: Observations of an Underwater Naturalist. CWI intern Christine Hensler assisted with the presentations.

Dr. Petokas Meets With Japanese Exchange Students

Posted: March 27, 2007

Dr. Peter Petokas met with Japanese exchange students on March 27, 2007, at Bergen County Technical School in Hackensack, New Jersey. Funded by a Fulbright award, the high school students and their teachers are here to participate in molecular DNA studies of the relationship between the Japanese Giant Salamander and the North American Hellbender salamander. Dr. Petokas gave a PowerPoint presentation that was translated into Japanese by one of the visiting exchange students. Since none of the students from the U.S. or Japan had actually seen a Hellbender salamander, Dr. Petokas brought two live hellbenders along for a "hands-on" experience.

Photos of Dr. Petokas with Japanese Students

Dr. Petokas Attends Expedition Susquehanna Premiere

Posted: March 24, 2007

Dr. Peter Petokas attended the Pennsylvania Educator-of-the-Year award ceremony, reunion of Expedition Susquehanna students, and the premiere of the new documentary "Expedition Susquehanna" on March 24, 2007, at the C. Ted Lick Wildwood Conference Center in Harrisburg, PA. Dr. Petokas and Dr. Mel Zimmerman are both featured in the documentary which will premiere on Pennsylvania public broadcasting stations, including WVIA, on April 19, 2007.

CWI at PA-TWS Annual Spring Conference

Posted: March 20, 2007

Dr. Peter Petokas and CWI interns Arianna Brawn, Neihl Williamson, and Kevin Arvai attended the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Wildlife Society, 2007 Annual Spring Conference and Workshop held in State College, PA, on March 17, 2007. Dr. Petokas and interns Brawn and Williamson presented papers on research projects with the Eastern Hellbender salamander.

CWI has Chapter in New CUR Publication

Posted: February 21, 2007

Dr. Mel Zimmerman has a chapter entitled "The Clean Water Institute at Lycoming College" published in Developing and Sustaining a Research-Supportive Curriculum: A Compendium of Successful Practices edited by K. K. Karukstis and T. E. Elgren and published by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). Authors across disciplines and from a variety of types of institutions have contributed over 30 chapters and 50 "highlights" describing curricular approaches, methods and techniques developed for their courses and programs of study to enhance the research experience of students and the research culture of their institutions.

Mel Zimmerman Takes-the-Helm on POWR Board

Posted: February 18, 2007

Dr. Mel Zimmerman was elected Chairman-of-the-Board of the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR). POWR has an office staff of four in Harrisburg, PA, and is a non-profit organization that advocates for the protection, restoration and enjoyment of water resources in the Commonwealth and conducts programs that foster stewardship, communication and leadership. POWR maintains a statewide watershed data base, provides liability and legal support to watershed groups, and coordinates the PA River Sojourns. Dr. Zimmerman has served as vice-chair of the POWR board for the past two years.

Upcoming West Branch Restoration Symposium III

Posted: February 12, 2007

The third annual West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Symposium will be held Friday and Saturday, April 27 & 28, 2007, at the Genetti Hotel, Williamsport, PA. The purpose of the symposium is to promote the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Initiative, which is aimed at the cleanup of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) throughout the West Branch Susquehanna watershed. For details on the symposium and travel directions, please download the symposium registration brochure.

Zimmerman Interviewed On AMD Issue

Posted: February 7, 2007

Amy Wolfe with Trout Unlimited recently spoke on the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Initiative to the Lycoming County Audubon Society. Her presentation described abatement and remediation projects on tributaries of the Susquehanna River and the need for additional funding to mitigate acid mine discharge. Following the presentation, a Sun-Gazette reporter interviewed Dr. Mel Zimmerman. Details of the interview can be read in the online Sun-Gazette article.

Keystone Stream Team — In The News!

Posted: January 22, 2007

Keystone Stream Team accomplishments and ongoing projects are highlighted in the current issue of PA Environmental Digest. Dr. Mel Zimmerman is the current chairman of the Keystone Stream Team and Dr. Peter Petokas is the webmaster and project coordinator.

Colleges of Distinction Recognizes CWI

Posted: January 17, 2007

The Lycoming College Clean Water Institute is featured in the current issue of "Colleges of Distinction". CWI's three recent Growing Greener awards are highlighted in the electronic newsletter.

Recent Hellbender Presentations

Posted: December 22, 2006

Dr. Peter Petokas, Research Associate in the Clean Water Institute, recently made several public presentations on his study of the Ecology and Status of the Eastern Hellbender Salamander in North-Central Pennsylvania. Peter spoke at the North Pennsylvania Conservancy banquet in Lock Haven, PA on October 23, 2006, at the Pennsylvania Biological Survey Amphibian and Reptile Technical Committee meeting in Harrisburg, PA on October 24, 2006, at the Warrensville Area Lions Club meeting in Warrensville, PA on November 7, 2006, the Lyceum Group meeting in Johnson City, NY on November 8, 2006, and at the Northern Appalachian Research Lab in Wellsboro, PA on December 21, 2006. Peter took live Hellbender salamanders with him to his presentations and was also accompanied by his summer interns, Arianna Brawn and Neihl Williamson.

Several New Grants Awarded to CWI

Posted: November 29, 2006

Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced a $27 million investment to clean up streams and rivers, address serious environmental problems at abandoned mine sites and revitalize communities across the state. The money will finance 153 projects through Pennsylvania's traditional Growing Greener Program and the voter-approved Growing Greener II bond initiative. Lycoming College's Clean Water Institute received three Growing Greener awards to provide: 1) support for the Keystone Stream Team website and stream restoration initiatives, 2) support a technical assistance system for watershed groups in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, and 3) startup costs for the Rose Valley/Mill Creek Watershed Association. Please visit the Lycoming College News webpage for more information.

CWI Data Input to POWR Database - Summer 2006

Posted: September 26, 2006

As of August 2006, Lycoming College Clean Water Institute has entered data into the POWR database for 16 watersheds, 149 sites, on 708 days with 6,464 total data entries for chemical or physical parameters. Data was submitted for the sites that were collected summer of 2006, along with all past data of which the Clean Water Institute keeps hard copies on file. CWI interns entered data site by site, and it is now available as a web resource for participating members of the PA Watershed Data System.

From the Branches to the Confluences Conference

Posted: September 26, 2006

On September 23, 2006, Dr. Peter Petokas, Dr. Mel Zimmerman, and Arianna Brawn (members of the Lycoming College Clean Water Institute) attended the From the Branches to the Confluence: The Upper Susquehanna River Basin and its Communities conference held at Bucknell University. The morning speaker was Will Baker, the president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the lunch speaker was Ann Swanson, the executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. A poster session followed the forums. Posters by various organizations and students' research were on display.

Kayak Trip Down the Mighty Susquehanna

Posted: September 11, 2006

On Saturday Sept 9, 2006 a group of 17 (students and faculty) from Lycoming College participated in a LEAF (Lycoming Environmental Awareness Foundation) Kayak trip (7 miles along the West Branch of Susquehanna River starting in Montgomery and ending in Watsontown) as part of the North Central PA Conservancy River Awareness Program. Kayaks and instruction were provided by Canoe Susquehanna outfitters (www.paddlehappy.com).

Roatan: Marine Biology Trip

Posted: August 29, 2006

Dr. Zimmerman completed a 40 hour workshop (August 11-19, 2006) in Tropical Marine Ecology at the Roatan Institute for Marine Science (RIMS) at Anthony's Key, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras, Central America. The workshop participants included high school teachers and faculty from SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Fredonia and the Niagara Falls Aquarium and was co-sponsored by COSEE (Center for Ocean Science Educational Excellence) - Great Lakes.

Dr. Zimmerman is planning a May 2007 course trip for Lycoming College Students. Information may be obtained concerning the trip at the following links:

2006 Summer Summary

Posted: August 2, 2006

Two new interns have joined the CWI team: Tanya Fry (Hugesville, PA) and Nicole Rhodes (Julian, PA). Summer is winding down and the interns are in their last few weeks of their internship. Their summer progress can be viewed in the following poster.

Keystone College Workshop

Posted: August 2, 2006

On July 20th - Dr. Mel Zimmerman and CWI intern Lindsey Postaski ran a morning workshop for 30 high school aged students at the Woodland Resources Adventure Camp held at Keystone College. This years theme was "A Focus on Everything Wet" and ran for 5 days with various programs coordinated by the Endless Mountains RC&D. After a general introduction to the collection of aquatic invertebrates and fish, during the CWI workshop, students collected and identified macroinvertebrates and also collected fish with an electro-fishing unit.

  • Pictures from the workshop (1, 2, 3, 4)

Hellbender Article

Posted: August 1, 2006

Dr. Peter Petokas and his interns (Neihl Williamson and Arianna Brawn) were featured in an article published in the Williamsport Sun Gazette on July 23, 2006. The article outlined their Hellbender summer research, what they hope to accomplish in their study, and what they have already found concerning the Hellbender populations.

River Clean-Up

Posted: August 1, 2006

On Saturday July 29th, members of the Lycoming College Clean Water Institute ( Dr. Mel Zimmerman, Arianna Brawn, Lindsey Postaski, Michelle Taylor, Neihl Williamson and Alex Tankeloff) participated in a Susquehanna River clean-up in an area 5 miles north of Lock Haven, PA. The clean-up was organized by the Clinton County CleanScapes and PA Clean Ways. Almost 100 volunteers participated including scuba divers, kayakers, and road crews. The combined efforts of 94 volunteers removed 0.74 tons (1,554 lbs.) of trash including 234 tires and one bowling pin collected Lindsey.

  • Pictures from the Clean-Up (1, 2, 3)

Summer 2006 Interns and Projects

Posted: June 14, 2006

It is summertime once again and the interns are busy. They have been trained and are currently working on their individual projects assigned by Clean Water Institute director, Dr. Mel Zimmerman. A new project to this organization includes a Hellbender Research project run by Dr. Peter Petokas. These projects include:

  1. Monitoring stream sites along Lycoming Creek including stream restoration near Roaring Branch and continued AMD analysis in watershed. Monitoring Training Workshop
  2. River monitoring along a 75 mile stretch of the West Branch of the Susquehanna between Lock Haven and Sunbury.
  3. Monitoring of a Riparian Buffer Project at the PP&L Montour Preserve. Riparian Buffer Workshop Photos (1, 2)
  4. Monitoring along Mill Creek and Rose Valley Lake.
  5. Monitoring study on Lakes Makoma and Eagles Mere.
  6. Monitoring along Big Bear Creek Stream Restoration Project.
  7. Farm soil survey at farms selected by Endless Mountain RC&D.
  8. Working with Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies (SRHCES) to develop a technical advisory group of college faculty and interns to assist watershed groups.
  9. Continued support on projects along Buffalo Creek, Blackhole Creek, Pine Creek, Muncy Creek, and Loyalsock Creek.
  10. Continued GPS location of dry hydrants for Endless Mountain RC&D.
  11. Monitoring of Eastern Hellbender populations in streams. Picture
  12. Working with Cromaglass Corp. to test efficiency of one of their SBR sewage treatment systems. Cromaglass Website

Funding: This years projects are supported by grants from Degenstein Foundation, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Growing Greener Grants to Lycoming College CWI (with partners from SRHCES), and a Growing Greener Grant to Lycoming Creek Watershed Association.

The students working on these various projects include: Arianna Brawn (Portsmouth, NH), Alex Collins (Loyalsock, PA), Tyler Machamer (Williamsport, PA), Brittane Miller (Turbotville, PA), Kate Olsen (Muncy, PA), Lindsey Postaski (Milford, PA), Michelle Taylor (Montoursville, PA), and Neihl Williamson (Jersey Shore, PA).

Lycoming College Media Summary

Barn Owl Banding

Posted: June 29, 2006

On June 28, 2006 CWI interns (Kate Olsen and Michelle Taylor) took part in banding Barn Owls near Turbotville, PA in Northumberland county coordinated by PA Game Commission. Wayne Laubscher, from the PA Game Commission, ran the banding of these owls. The PA Game Commission has listed the Barn Owl as a "priority specie" due to their decline in populations, degradation of their habitats, and less prey.

Expedition Susquehanna Makes a Side Trip to Loyalsock Creek

Posted: June 26, 2006

Expedition Susquehanna is a program, put on by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, that allows 12 high school students (from MD, NY, and PA) to travel down the Susquehanna River. They begin in NY and end at the Chesapeake Bay. By the end, the students will have canoed for 30 days covering over 400 miles of the pristine areas as well as the polluted areas of the Susquehanna River. Their days consist of canoeing as well as talking with citizens about restoration efforts and various educational programs.

On June 22, Lycoming College CWI faculty (Zimmerman and Petokas) as well as Summer Interns (Olsen, Miller, Taylor, Machamer, WIlliamson, Postaski, and Brawn) spent Thursday on Loyalsock Creek where the students from Expedition Susquehanna stopped by to help with the Hellbender survey, perform water chemistry, and seine. Later on in the day, the students traveled to World's End State Park where they helped electro fish.

Other programs from the day included speakers from Bucknell and Bloomsburg University.

Virginia Stream Presentation by Dr. Mel Zimmerman

Posted: June 26, 2006

On Wed. June 21 — Dr Mel Zimmerman gave a workshop/presentation to the Virginia Highlands Alliance Action Program ( the Virginia version of the Stream Team) at their summer meeting in Madison , Virginia. Steve Talley of Canaan Valley Institute hosted the meeting. After a full morning of presentations about the Keystone Stream Team projects and lessons learned, the group spent the afternoon touring some natural stream channel design projects in the area.

  • Pictures (1, 2, 3)

A Trip to Vietnam

Posted: June 14, 2006

Dr. Zimmerman and two Environmental Science students (Alex Collins and Michelle Taylor) participated in a May Term course trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lycoming Biology Dept. Participates in Ferrell Elementary School Field Trip

Posted: April 27, 2006

On April 19th, 2006, Dr. Zimmerman, Chris Mason, and Allison Raymond presented the ecology of a stream to Muncy Elementary school kids from Ferrell Elementary School in Picture Rocks. This included presentation of fish and macroinvertebrates.

Lycoming College Biology Dept. and Bishop Newman collaborate on stream survey

Posted: April 27, 2006

On Dec. 5, 2005, high school students and Dr. Zimmerman and some Biology majors from Lycoming College monitored the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of Millers Run Creek, Loyalsock Township. Techniques for fish and macroinvertebrate collection were demonstrated by Lycoming students and water quality parameters were tested.

  • Pictures (1, 2, 3)

Loyalsock Park Clean Up

Posted: April 27, 2006

On April 8th, 2006, LEAF members and Biology majors Allison Raymond, Nicole Rhodes, and Chris Mason along with Dr. Zimmerman and many volunteers joined CleanScapes and the Loyalsock Parks & Recreation Department in promoting community safety as Riverfront Park was cleaned up. Flood related debris was removed from the banks of the West Branch Susquehanna River.

  • Pictures (1, 2, 3, 4)

Dr. Zimmerman on WKOK

Posted: April 27, 2006

Dr. Mel Zimmerman was part of a panel on April 13th from 11am-noon on WKOK (Sunbury Broadcasting Company- news radio 1040)- "Leaders and Law Makers" hosted by Mark Lawrence. The prgram featured a discussion on what can be done in the Susquehanna River Basin to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Also on panel was Brain Auman from SEDA-COG, Matt Ehrhart and John {age of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Marel Raub of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. The program also ran on WKOK.com.

Lycoming College Biology Department participates in the Pennsylvania Academy of Science.

Posted: April 05, 2006

The Biology Department participated in the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science. This event was held at the Holiday Inn in Grantville, Pennsylvania on Friday March 31st to Sunday April 2nd, 2006. Dr. Peter Petokas, research associate for Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute was the chair of the Ecology/ Environmental/ Aquatic Biology session. Six of the seven presentations given were papers on CWI topics:

  1. Purkinje neuron development: intracellular signaling pathways that regulate dendrite formation- Stamatis Zeris and Mary E. Morrison
  2. Preliminary report on the distribution, habitat, and food preferences of juvenile and adult Eastern Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alengiensis allengiensis) in Northeastern Pennsylvania- Peter J. Petokas, James Rogers, Philip Kratochvil, and Noah Sterngold.
  3. Attempts by sportsmen to extirpate the Eastern Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alengiensis allengiensis) from Northeastern Pennsylvania- Peter J. Petokas and James Rogers.
  4. A chemical and physical assessment of the Buffalo Creek Watershed (Union County, PA)- Brad Musser, Katie Swanson, Laura Lockard, and Mel Zimmerman.
  5. Assessment of deer impact on hunted and non-hunted lands of Montour Preserve- Christopher Dempsy and Mel Zimmerman.
  6. Base-line water quality assessment of the Lower West Branch of the Susquehanna River- Laura Lockard, Heather Horsley, and Mel Zimmerman.
  7. Achievements of the Keystone Stream Team and the application of natural stream channel design (NSCD) for restoring Pennsylvania Streams. – Peter Petokas and Mel Zimmerman.

POWR Database Demonstration

Posted: April 05, 2006

On March 16th, 2006 Lycoming College Clean Water Institute hosted a workshop on the use of the Keystone Watershed monitoring database. 13 local watershed groups and 4 Lycoming College students participated. Angela McCracken of POWR did the online demonstration in the Heim computer lab.

Dr. Petokas Receives Grant

Posted: March 28, 2006

Dr. Peter Petokas received a $48,000 grant from Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. This is a 2.5 year project that will be conducted by Lycoming College to study the distribution and status of the Eastern Hellbender in tributaries of the West Branch Susquehanna.

Dr. Mel Zimmerman is elected Vice President of POWR Board

Posted: March 28, 2006

Dr. Mel Zimmerman was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds & Rivers (POWR). He was elected the Vice President from 2006-2008.

SRHCES featured in PA Environmental Digest

Posted: March 27, 2006

Read the full article here.

Dr. Mel Zimmerman gives presentation

Posted: April 05, 2006

Dr. Mel Zimmerman gave a presentation titled "The Importance of Clean Watersheds" to the Rose Valley/Mill Creek Watershed Association on January 10, 2006.

American Fisheries Society

Posted: January 30, 2006

Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Dr. Peter Petokas participated in the 135th Annual Meeting in September 2005. Their poster "Reference reach database for Natural Stream Channel Design Projects in Pennsylvania, USA" was presented.

CWI Featured in CUR Quarterly

Posted: January 25, 2006

CUR (Council on Undergraduate Research) featured CWI in their December 2005 issue. This issue featured colleges that performed undergraduate research that served the community.

Lycoming College Receives Grants to help State "Grow Greener"

Posted: January 18, 2006

The Clean Water Institute has received two new grants from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Hellbenders- prehistoric creatures living right in PA

Posted: January 18, 2006

Dr. Peter Petokas, research associate, and Jim Rogers, Lycoming College alumni, were featured in the Williamsport Sun Gazette December 4, 2005 for their research on Hellbenders. Dr. Petokas has studied Hellbenders in the Williamsport area for 2 years and plans to do a study Summer 2006 that involves "occurrence, distribution, and habitat and water quality data...along with population demographic data and an assessment of reproductive success and recruitment. Project results will provide information needed for management and conservation of the eastern hellbender in Pennsylvania."

Two Lycoming Professors Featured in WVIA Documentary

Posted: January 18, 2006

Dr. John F. Piper, academic dean, and Dr. Mel Zimmerman, professor of Biology, were featured in the WVIA documentary "Looking to the River." It aired December 2005. The document looks at current issues associated with the Susquehanna River. Both professors were featured commentators.

Mid-Atlantic Highlands Stream Restoration Workshop

Posted: January 18, 2006

Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Dr. Peter Petokas participated in the Second Annual Conference held on November 8-9, 2005 in Cacapon State Park in West Virginia. The topic they presented was titled the "Status of Reference Reach Data Base of NSCD Projects in Pennsylvania--what have we learned?"

Dr. Zimmerman's and Dr. Petokas's presentation can be viewed here along with other presentations given.

Brad Musser and Katie Swanson Present Their Data on Buffalo Creek

Posted: January 18, 2006

Brad Musser and Katie Swanson worked from May to August collecting data on Buffalo Creak and five of its tributaries. They presented their findings to the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance November 2, 2006 at the Union County Government Center.

Dr. Zimmerman Receives Award from Governor Rendell

Posted: January 18, 2006

Dr. Mel Zimmerman was honored by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell on October 6, 2005 as one of the state's top environmentalists. Dr. Zimmerman was recognized for his work with the Clean Water Institute, the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies, and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, along with many others.

WILDS Outdoor Festival

Posted: Sept. 28, 2005

Members of LEAF and CWI helped the North Central Pennsylvania Conservancy with a display at the WILDS Outdoor Festival at Bowman's Field, Williamsport, PA, on September 24-25. The posters depicted the water quality of the lower West Branch Susquehanna River as well as the activities of the conservancy.

  • Pictures (1, 2)

Milton Harvest Festival and The Improved Milton Experience presents Embrace the River through TIME

Posted: Sept. 28, 2005

Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Christy Bowersox participated in the Milton Harvest Festival and gave a presentation on the water quality of the Susquehanna River on September 11. The day included a kayak /canoe trip of the West Branch Susquehanna River, PA DCNR's River of the Year for 2005, and a guided historic walking tour. Also present was Mrs. Karen Avery, a graduate of Lycoming College, and her Environmental Science class from Milton High School. They talked about their project on Limestone Run, which they have worked on with Lycoming College for the past 3 years.

Presentation of Abandoned Mine Drainage to Dickinson College

Posted: Sept. 28 2005

Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Lycoming College graduate Brandon Ford gave a presentation on abandoned mine drainage (AMD) and problems in the Lycoming Creek Watershed to the Dickinson College Aquatics and Environmental class on September 9. This included a field trip to Dutchman's Run, an acid impacted stream on Lycoming Creek.

Lycoming College Biology Department Receives $100,000 Grant

Posted: Sept. 28, 2005

The George I. Alden Trust of Worcester, Massachusetts has given $100,000 for educational equipment for the Biology Department. The full article can be read here.

Freshman Football Players Clean Up Rider Park

Posted: Sept. 25, 2005

The athletes day included clearing about five miles of trails and painted entrance gates. The full article and pictures can be seen here.

Monitoring Matters

Posted: July 13, 2005

Dr. Mel Zimmerman has two articles in the Monitoring Matters newsletter published by POWR that keeps groups involved in the latest issues, developments, opportunities and events affecting volunteer monitors in Pennsylvania. The first article is The Importance of Assessment in Natural Stream Channel Design (pgs. 1, 7) and the second is Restoration of Big Bear Creek, Lycoming County, PA (pg 4). Both can be found in the June 2005 issue.

Summer 2005 Interns and Projects

Posted: July 1, 2005

The Clean Water Institute is ready for a busy summer! Interns have been trained and placed on their project by Clean Water Institute director, Dr. Mel Zimmerman. Student interns are currently working on the following projects:

Read an article on our interns!

  1. Pine Creek: A draft plan of the Pine Creek River Conservation Plan has been completed. Amy Curry is currently working on the completion of the final plan. This project is funded by the Endless Mountains RC&D- Pine Creek Grant.
  2. Buffalo Creek: Brad Musser and Katie Swanson are working on a physical stream assessment of the tributaries of Buffalo Creek.
  3. The West Branch Susquehanna River: Laura Lockard and Dan Hayward (Bucknell University) are conducting a water quality study of the West Branch from Lockhaven to Sunbury. This project is funded by the Growing Greener Grant.
  4. Dry Hydrant Assessment: Tyler Machamer is conducting a functional use assessment of the dry hydrants of Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga, Bradford, Wyoming, and Susquehanna Counties. This project is funded by the Endless Mountains RC&D Grant. Pictures
  5. Lycoming Creek: Brandon Ford is working on the completion of a water quality study and data on two acid mine seeps on the tributaries to Lycoming Creek. The Growing Greener Grant to Lycoming Creek is funding this project. Pictures (1, 2).
  6. Keystone Stream Team: Allison Raymond is working on the development of a website and stream restoration database.
  7. Erosion and Riparian Assessment: Christy Bowersox is performing a stream buffer survey and plantings on PPL's Montour Preserve. This project is on cooperation with Bucknell University, Susquehanna University, and Bloomsburg University and is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Grant to SEDA-COG. Pictures (1, 2, 3).

Workshop

Posted: July 1, 2005

CWI interns Amy Curry, Jim Rogers, Brandon Ford, Matt Bennett, Tyler Machamer, and Dr. Mel Zimmerman presented a workshop for the 3rd grade classes of Montoursville school system on May 31, 2005 as part of the Montoursville Borough 5th Annual Groundwater Education Day at Indian Park. Lycoming College has participated in each of the five years of the program.

  • Indian Park Pond Pictures (1, 2, 3)

Engaging Communities and Campuses

Posted: July 1, 2005

Dr. Mel Zimmerman was invited to Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD from June 26-28, 2005 to present how the Clean Water Institute uses student interns to address watershed issues in the community. Thirty one representatives from twenty institutions also worked on contributions to the CIC (Council of Independent Colleges) project on "Engaging Communities and Campuses."

A Susquehanna Symposium: Riverfront Communities

Posted: July 1, 2005

Dr. Mel Zimmerman attended the symposium in Harrisburg from June 8-10, 2005. He presented posters on Clean Water Institute Projects involving:

  1. Erosion assessments on Lycoming Creek
  2. Stream restoration monitoring on Big Bear Creek
  3. Stream restoration database being developed for the Keystone Stream Team.

Restoring the West Branch Susquehanna River

Posted: July 1, 2005

Dr. Mel Zimmerman presented posters at Penn State University on May 6 & 7, 2005 on the stream restoration database being developed for the Keystone Stream Team and background information on the Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies.

2nd Annual Hellbender Symposium

Posted: June 29, 2005

Research associate Peter Petokas and Lycoming College graduate James Rogers attended the 2nd annual Hellbender Symposium held in Lakeview Arkansas from June 19-22, 2005. Peter served as session moderator and presented a paper entitled The Occurrence and Behavior of Eastern Hellbenders in Deepwater Pools in Northcentral Pennsylvania. Jim presented a paper entitled Attempts by Sportsmen to Extirpate the Eastern Hellbender from Northcentral Pennsylvania Streams During the 1930's. Peter and Jim joined eight other SCUBA divers in a search for Ozark Hellbenders in the Eleven Point River in southern Missouri. One Red River Mudpuppy and five Ozark Hellbenders were captured and released.

Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies

Posted: May 25, 2005

The Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies (SRHCES) is a nascent watershed organization whose geographic focus is the entire Susquehanna River West Branch watershed in Pennsylvania. The West Branch Susquehanna watershed drains an area of approximately 4,466 million acres, just under 7,000 square miles. At present, SRHCES partners include representatives from six academic institutions (Bloomsburg University, Susquehanna University, Bucknell University, Lock Haven University, Kings College, and Lycoming College), the PA Department of Environmental Protection, the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, SEDA-COG, Forum-for-the-Future, and the Geisinger Health System.

PAS Pennsylvania Academy of Science

Posted: May 19, 2005

Eight papers were presented at the 81st annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science by students/faculty of Biology Department and Clean Water Institute on April 8 – 10:

Linn Log Newsletter of Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy

Posted: May 19, 2005

Laura Lockard and Brad Musser get featured in Linn Log Newsletter of Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy for their work on Buffalo Creek.

PA Environment Digest Features "State of the Sock" and Credits CWI

Posted: February 23, 2005

Loyalsock Creek studies completed by Lycoming College Biology students Theresa Black, Matthew Bennett and James Rogers are featured in PA Environment Digest. The article gives some background information about stream conditions and offers some insight into the future of Loyalsock Creek. Links to the report and other findings (including an article featuring our very own Dr. Mel Zimmerman) can be found at the bottom of the article.

CWI Interns Present Summer Project Data on Buffalo Creek

Posted: December 20, 2004

Interns Laura Lockard and Brad Musser presented their findings to the Buffalo Creek Watershed on Tuesday December 2, 2004.

CWI Interns Present Summer Project Data on Mahoning Creek

Posted: November 9, 2004

Interns Jennifer Clark and Will Tumbusch presented their findings at the Danville Conservation District Office on Tuesday October 5, 2004.

CWI Interns Trek to Limestone Creek

Posted: November 9, 2004

On Tuesday October 26, 2004 CWI interns assisted Mr. Yeager and his Milton Senior High School’s Outdoor Ed/ Environmental Studies class in completing an electroshocking fish survey. Macro-invertebrate and water chemistry samples were also collected to further the ongoing study on Limestone Creek. Last years data and report is available on our reports page. This years data will be available soon. Pictures from the fish survey

New Growing Greener Grant

Posted: November 9, 2004

The Lycoming College Clean Water Institute was successful in obtaining a $10,000 Growing Greener Grant (for 2005-2007) announced last week by DEP Secretary McGinty. The title of the project is "The Establishment of a Lower West Branch Susquehanna River Advisory group". (continued here)

Student Interns Survey Local Streams

Posted: August 10, 2004

Student interns from the Clean Water Institute at Lycoming College have been hard at work this summer in the greater Lycoming County area that will contribute to stream restoration in the area. For more information see Students Survey Local Streams

Students Present Papers Based on Local Stream Research

Posted: August 10, 2004

Lycoming College biology Students from the College’s Clean Water Institute presented three scholarly papers based on research of local streams at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science held in Pittsburgh (March 26-28). For more information see Pennsylvania Academy of Science

Natural Stream Channel Design

Posted: July 12, 2004

The Clean Water Institute has received a two-year 319(h) grant for $182,455 to develop an on-line database for stream channel restoration data from Pennsylvania stream restoration projects incorporating natural stream channel design. The grant is an upgrade of the previously awarded Growing Greener Grant posted (below) on October 8, 2003. The database will incorporate use of a RIVERMorph software interface that will allow direct entry, storage and recall of data by designers and engineers and others involved in ongoing and future Pennsylvania stream restoration projects. Historical data from past projects will be included in the database and accessible for use for project planning and design. Clean Water Institute staff are working on development of the database and a companion Keystone Stream Team web site to provide access to the database.

Summer 2004 Projects and Interns

Posted: June 25, 2004

Summertime at the Clean Water Institute is always the busiest time of the year. Student interns begin their training in late April to early May and work on their individual projects for the remainder of the summer. Interns are paired up and placed on their project by Clean Water Institute director, Dr. Mel Zimmerman. Student interns are currently working on the following projects:

  1. Antes Creek project is being directed through the Nippenose Valley Watershed Association. Lycoming College's Matthew Bennett along with Don Muraco are working with Larson Design Group to survey Antes Creek.
  2. Buffalo Creek's team of Brad Musser and Laura Lockard are working on a physical stream assessment of Buffalo Creek, along with a chemical analysis and macroinvertebrate identification.
  3. Lycoming Creek interns, Brandon Ford and Drew Zimmerman, are working on a physical stream assessments, chemical assessments and macroinvertebrate assessments on Lycoming Creek and its tributaries. The main focus is on the impaired tributaries of Upper Lycoming Creek.
  4. Mahoning Creek project is a physical and chemical assessment of the stream. Jen Clark and Will Tumbusch are the CWI interns working on this study and were assisted by Jim Rogers and Heather Edelstein.
  5. Pine Creek interns Kristen Colgan, Amy Curry and Kristina Kleintop are compiling data from previous studies on Pine Creek. They will complete a physical assessment and a chemical analysis of the creek's water.
  6. Conservancy

Growing Greener Grant

Posted: October 8, 2003

Dr. Mel Zimmerman – Biology was informed of a $120,000 Growing Greener Grant awarded to the Lycoming College Clean Water Institute for a 3 year project to analyze and assess stream restoration data from around the state and develop a Keystone Stream Team website. Majority of funds will be used to hire and support a Systems Analyst. The Grant is in partnership with the PA-DEP, Keystone Stream Team, Penn State Dirt and Gravel Roads Department and the Canaan Valley Institute. In addition, two other grants (to Buffalo Creek Watershed – Lewisburg and Mahoning Creek Watershed – Danville) were also funded and include summer stipends/supplies/mileage to support six student summer interns over the next two years. On going projects on Pine, Muncy and Loyalsock Creeks continue to support students each of the past two summers.

In August, Dr. Zimmerman was co-organizer of a symposium on Stream Restoration at the 133rd annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society held at Quebec City. He also presented a paper titled "Response to Trout Populations to Natural Stream Channel Restorations in Big Bear Creek, Lycoming County, PA".

Jamaica May Term

Posted: October 14, 2003

Students are invited to spend a May Term (May 10th - May 29th) at the Hofstra University Marine Laboratory in Jamaica, West Indies, Dr. Zimmerman's 16th such trip. The class is listed as "BIO 329: Tropical Marine Biology". This is a field oriented course where students study the creatures of the fringing reefs, barrier reefs, lagoons, turtlegrass beds and mangrove swamps at a tropical marine laboratory. Studies will include survey of plankton, invertebrates and fish as well as the physical and chemical characteristics that influence their distribution. For more information on this May Term course see Jamaica May Term.