Posts Tagged ‘Watershed Education’

New Video on Stream Channel Stability

Posted on: May 6th, 2020 by Tim Koch

The AWSMP office might be phys­i­cal­ly closed, but our edu­ca­tion staff have been hard at work gen­er­at­ing online stream based con­tent for both youth and adults.

AWSMP Educators Matt Savatgy, Brent, Gotsch, Tim Koch, and Amanda Cabanillas.

AWSMP Edu­ca­tors (from left to right) Matt Savat­gy, Brent Gotsch, Tim Koch, and Aman­da Caban­il­las dur­ing a snow­shoe stream walk in 2019.


AWSMP Stream Edu­ca­tor Tim Koch has just released a new video on stream chan­nel sta­bil­i­ty: what it is, and why it is impor­tant to main­tain and improve the sta­bil­i­ty of our rivers and streams. This 9‑minute video is meant for landown­ers, munic­i­pal offi­cials, con­ser­va­tion advi­so­ry coun­cil mem­bers, and any­one else inter­est­ed in or involved in stream man­age­ment.


This video can also be viewed direct­ly from AWSM­P’s YouTube Chan­nel.

AWSMP Water­shed Youth Edu­ca­tor Matt Savat­gy and Pro­gram Assis­tant Aman­da Caban­il­las are cur­rent­ly pro­duc­ing a series of edu­ca­tion­al videos and at-home activ­i­ties for stu­dents. Fol­low along at home as they dis­cuss dif­fer­ent types of rocks, assess a cul­vert, and inves­ti­gate stream fea­tures in a chan­nel cross-sec­tion.


Screenshot of CCE Ulster Youth Education Video Series Website

Screen­shot of CCE Ulster Youth Sci­ence Edu­ca­tion Video Series Web­site


The online sci­ence series can be found at the Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty web­site and on the AWSMP web­site under Videos.

Check back with us in the com­ing weeks, espe­cial­ly if you are a stream­side landown­er or own prop­er­ty in the Spe­cial Flood Haz­ard Area as Resource Edu­ca­tor Brent Gotsch will be pro­duc­ing a series of short videos on flood­plains, flood­proof­ing, and all things flood insur­ance. In these upcom­ing videos, Brent will teach view­ers how to read a flood insur­ance rate map (FIRM) and the work­ings of the Nation­al Flood Insur­ance Pro­gram (NFIP) among oth­er flood relat­ed top­ics.

As always, our edu­ca­tion and tech­ni­cal staff are avail­able to answer any stream, flood­plain, or ripar­i­an buffer relat­ed ques­tions! Call the AWSMP office main line at (845) 688‑3047 for assis­tance or email


A Sojourn into the Wizarding World

Posted on: June 24th, 2016 by Caroline Stupple

After a year of activ­i­ties rang­ing from dis­sect­ing owl pel­lets to roller­coast­er engi­neer­ing, the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) pre­sent­ed some water­shed activ­i­ties to the 4‑H Tech Wiz­ards — stu­dents at Miller Mid­dle School, Bai­ley Mid­dle School, and Ellenville Ele­men­tary School. 4‑H Tech Wiz­ards is a Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty pro­gram run by edu­ca­tors Alli­son Solian and Matt Helf­frich.


IMG_1713 (1)

Water­shed Edu­ca­tor, Brent Gotsch, and Bai­ley Mid­dle School Tech Wiz­ards explor­ing water­sheds and the impor­tance of water­shed pro­tec­tion.


Our first ses­sion with the wiz­ards start­ed off with a dis­cus­sion about the water cycle and where water comes from. We then focused on how water flows across the land­scape and col­lects in a water­shed. The wiz­ards dis­cussed things that humans typ­i­cal­ly build near water and then built a water­shed from paper com­plete with farms, hous­es, and fac­to­ries. We used dif­fer­ent water-sol­u­ble col­ored mark­ers to rep­re­sent the pol­lu­tants that can be pro­duced by those devel­op­ments if not man­aged well, and filled in the crevices of the land­scape. Then came the real­ly excit­ing part — a spray bot­tle filled with water. “Wow!!” exclaimed the kids as they could see all the dif­fer­ent “pol­lu­tants” run down from their devel­oped areas and col­lect in the water­shed in the mid­dle of the tray. Our con­ver­sa­tion seam­less­ly flowed into dis­cus­sion about the impor­tance of con­ser­va­tion and pro­tec­tion of our water­sheds for human use and envi­ron­men­tal sta­bil­i­ty.



Water­shed Edu­ca­tor, Car­o­line Stup­ple, and Ellenville Ele­men­tary School Tech Wiz­ards explor­ing the impor­tance of wet­lands and what remov­ing them can do to the flood­ing pat­tern of a stream.


Our sec­ond ses­sion was anoth­er water-based activ­i­ty – the flood­plain mod­el! The wiz­ards were an engaged and thought­ful bunch whose enthu­si­asm for flood­ing out the lit­tle mod­el vil­lages they built was matched by their fas­ci­na­tion with pos­si­ble engi­neer­ing solu­tions to the flood­ing prob­lems. After test­ing pre­dic­tions and solu­tions, the wiz­ards were able to look at a Flood Insur­ance Rate Map for their school dis­trict and were sur­prised to learn about their school’s prox­im­i­ty to flood­plains, and about flood pro­tec­tion tech­niques. At the end the wiz­ards were allowed to stop­per the end of the mod­el and pour water on the rain­mak­er, this sent all their homes afloat; the pure joy this brought to the wiz­ards was well worth it.



Water­shed Edu­ca­tor, Matt Savat­gy, and Miller Ele­men­tary School Tech Wiz­ards manip­u­lat­ing the mod­el and exam­in­ing the impacts that devel­op­ing imper­vi­ous struc­tures, such as park­ing lots, has on streams.


AWSMP had a great time work­ing with the Tech Wizard’s 4‑H Club and we look for­ward to more fun stream activ­i­ties with them this sum­mer!



Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts – Oh My!

Posted on: June 17th, 2016 by Caroline Stupple

Water­shed Edu­ca­tor, Car­o­line Stup­ple, demon­strat­ing the flood­plain mod­el to Round­out Val­ley Scout Cam­poree atten­dees June 11, 2016. Pho­to by Matt Savat­gy


Round­out Val­ley held their annu­al Scout Cam­poree and the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) was asked to present along­side many oth­er amaz­ing edu­ca­tors and their dis­plays. The Cam­poree start­ed off with a grand scout flag rais­ing cer­e­mo­ny fol­lowed by about 300 scouts mak­ing rounds to all the dis­plays set before them. Among the excit­ing exhibits, just to name just a few, were Bet­ty Boomer with a vari­ety of pond macroin­ver­te­brates, amphib­ians, and rep­tiles for the scouts to explore and Wild Moun­tain Birds wildlife reha­bil­i­ta­tors with a reha­bil­i­tat­ed birds dis­play.

AWSMP set up an inter­ac­tive flood­plain mod­el to edu­cate par­tic­i­pants about the impor­tance of water­sheds, specif­i­cal­ly as it relates to devel­op­ment, stormwa­ter run-off, and flood­plain man­age­ment. These con­cepts are com­plex in nature and have long his­to­ries entwined in both sci­ence and pol­i­cy, mak­ing the con­tent tough to present in an approach­able man­ner. The flood­plain mod­el, how­ev­er, pro­vides a manip­u­lat­able visu­al that makes those very con­cepts more acces­si­ble to kids and adults alike. The edu­ca­tion­al con­tent, dis­guised in a fun hands-on, water-based activ­i­ty, drew scouts and gen­er­al camp­ground atten­dees back to the table mul­ti­ple times. Kids who had seen the dis­play once or twice ear­li­er in the day returned and were excit­ed to explain the impacts of the dif­fer­ent manip­u­la­tions to the new crowd. Turn­ing stu­dents into edu­ca­tors is what we love to see!

Despite down pour­ing rain, thun­der, and cool­er tem­per­a­tures the event was a smash­ing hit and we look for­ward to future col­lab­o­ra­tions!