David Karpovich believes that the best way to learn chemistry is outside of the classroom. Perhaps in a 16 foot aluminum fishing boat floating in the Kawkawlin River.
Karpovich is leading a study of Kawkawlin River water by students and faculty from SVSU and Delta College. It is the first such collaboration between the two schools. Members of the Kawkawlin River Watershed Property Owners Association started in 1998 to study E. coli levels in the river. They haven’t been able to determine why levels can be fine one day and off the charts the next. They have provided $1,000 in funding to Karpovich's team.
The study is being funded with a $32,000 grant from the Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship Through Education Network (GLISTEN), a program of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement.
To gather information needed, students take 48 samples each week, three from 18 earmarked sites up and down stream to the Saginaw Bay, as well as some of the bigger channels.