The LRO welcomes any opportunity to educate and inform our community in Cache Valley and the state of Utah
USU STARS! GEAR UP Engineering Camp
For the past two years, after the spring’s high flows have subsided and the summer has set in, the Logan River Observatory (LRO) staff has taken a week to work with Utah State’s USU STARS! GEAR UP Engineering Camp, a federally funded college access and readiness program administered by Utah State University. High school students from across Utah spend the week on campus, gaining hands-on experience across several focus areas within the College of Engineering including drone-based remote agricultural sensing, air quality monitoring, and water quantity and quality monitoring. Working with the LRO, students get a chance to develop basic data acquisition and analysis skills while implementing and comparing several methods for estimating flow volumes on the Logan River. We perform nutrient analyses in the field and examine the methods we use to continuously monitor and report similar water quantity and quality variables at the watershed scale. In combining investigations of flow volumes and constituents, we develop an intuition for the concept of mass loading and the ways relatively small quantities of something can contribute large cumulative effects downstream. As a final project, we take a field trip up Logan Canyon to explore how our snow-dominated precipitation regime interacts with the fascinating geology of the Bear River Range. The students develop basic research questions to investigate how precipitation and groundwater discharge affects the river as it descends through the mountains and through Logan City. It’s a great opportunity to spend some time with motivated students and to help them connect dots in the context of topics so crucial to the future of the Intermountain West. We’ll never pass up the chance to help future engineers think more critically about our most precious resource and are already looking forward to next year’s camp.