NRES RAP Environmental Sciences Team Project
By Team Leader and NRES PhD student Eric Green:
The goal of the Research Apprentice Program (RAP) Environmental Sciences Team (Jonathan Poole, Alexandra Gonzalez, Henal Patel, and Diana Velazquez) was to design a rain garden for a resident in the John Street Watershed. This rain garden would help reduce local flooding, create habitat for a diversity of animals, improve the aesthetic, return native species to the landscape, reduce pollutants from entering local water ways, and increase the amount of water entering underground water reserves. Students were exposed to various benefits of the rain garden through hands on experiences in both the field and laboratory. These experiences included: soil microbial testing, plant identification, ecological restoration techniques, pollinator observations in native landscapes, and psychological responses to nature. Students performed various measurements at a selected site (soil testing, space constraints, water volume identification) while incorporating homeowner preferences. Students then worked with a landscape architect in learning Photoshop in order to prepare visual representations of the rain garden. Students also received assistance from a professional who assisted in training in AutoCAD to finalize designs. Students then presented finalized designs to their peers and hope to return to build the rain garden in the near future. View the team's final presentation!