Stream team: Students join DEP for a day

Above: Olivia Paetow, a student at Onteora High School, gets a lesson in microbiology from Donna Reynolds of the DEP. Photos courtesy of NYC DEP. 

Students from Ulster County and the Bronx got a hands-on lesson in water science this week, as part of a watershed education program  that paired aspiring young environmental scientists with mentors at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection's Kingston water quality lab.

On Tuesday, the eight teenagers of the "Stream Teams" crew -- a project run by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, with funding from the Catskill Watershed Corporation -- were paired off with DEP employees to get one-on-one training in the tools of the trade, from digital mapping to microbiology to flood prevention. Three students from Onteora High School participated in the project: Olivia Paetow, Bailey Moskowitz and Nolan Bastianelli. The other five hailed from the Bronx Lab School downstate.

In a news release about the program, officials said that they hoped the students would one day step up to the task of managing New York City's vast upstate watershed:

"The Stream Teams project is an example of the way our education grants help students see just how special our region is and how they can play an important personal role in protecting it,” said Alan Rosa, executive director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation. “The future of the water system and watershed will one day be in their hands."

Local watershed watchers will get a chance to hear from the Stream Team students on April 27th, when the group is scheduled to give a presentation at the annual Ashokan Watershed Conference at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge.

Below: A slideshow of photos from the Stream Team's visit to the DEP Kingston water quality lab on Tuesday, March 26.