Published on September 2, 2014  

Samford University’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences is collaborating with the Jefferson County Department of Health for a unique program for local high school students 9 a.m.-11:30 am Sept 6.

“What’s Bugging You: Analyzing Water Quality in Shades Creek” will draw on the expertise of Samford professors Kristin Bakkegard and Betsy Dobbins, and Scott Hofer and Jonika Smith of the county department’s Watershed Protection Division.

Approximately 30 students from Mountain Brook High School, Homewood High School and Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School will learn about storm water and how to measure water quality using aquatic macroinvertebrates. 

The event will be held in the outdoor recreation pavilion and in Shades Creek across Lakeshore Drive from Samford’s campus. 

Bakkegard and Dobbins both are leaders in environmental education and service.

Bakkegard and her Samford students have done essential research on the last known population of spotted salamanders in Shades Valley. The Friends of Shades Creek honored Bakkegard with their 2014 Volunteer Educator of the Year Award.

Dobbins sponsors student research projects in Five Mile Creek and Shades Creek in the Birmingham area. She is the coordinator for Samford's Earth Day, a member of the Executive Board of the Cahaba River Society, secretary of the board of the Friends of Shades Creek, and a member of the Black Warrior Riverkeeper Advisory Council.