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Water-related student research

Rosalie Starenko

Rosalie Starenko

(Geography Senior Inquiry Project): Mitigation and Beautification: Placing Rain Gardens in the KeyStone Neighborhood

Rosalie is conducting a study assessing the best locations to place rain gardens within the KeyStone Neighborhood and surrounding watershed area. She is looking at both physical and social aspects of the area in order to produce a representative map of parcels that will be best suited for rain garden installation. After ranking 500 property parcels based on their "readiness" to install a rain garden, interviewing community members regarding their opinions of rain gardens, and using the USEPA's National Stormwater Calculator to assess each property's stormwater load, Rosalie hopes to answer the following question:

• Using both physical and cultural landscapes of the neighborhood, what parcels or areas are going to best benefit from the installation of rain gardens? 

Brian Lovejoy

(Environmental Studies Senior Inquiry Project)

Brian received a NSF LSAMP IInspire-at-Augustana student research grant. He is trying to understand biodiversity of aquatic invertebrates within the small streams of Rock Island and Moline watersheds. Brian collects the macro-invertebrates and identifies them using a microscope in hopes to answer the following research questions:

• What is the biotic index of the Urban Sustainable Watershed Project study area?
• Does the aquatic invertebrate diversity correlate with stormwater quality?

Diana Schultz

(Biology-Environmental Studies Independent Research)

Diana received a research grant to determine the forest cover in the urban forests of Rock Island. She is particularly looking at the presence of garlic mustard, an invasive species, and what factors may contribute to its presence within these urban forests. Diana is a junior, and hopes to build upon this research for her Senior Inquiry project.

Kevin Gosiewski

Kevin Gosiewski

(Biology/environmental studies- Senior Inquiry Project)

Kevin is conducting a study that will assess the overall stability of Rock Island and Moline's ravine slopes. He hopes that his research will give the cities a better understanding of how stable the ravines are because they are often in residential areas. Using GIS analysis, LIDAR data, and observational data, Kevin will attempt to answer the following questions:

• What is the overall stability of the ravines that were created by streams that run through the Rock Island and Moline area?

• Where are stable, unstable, potentially unstable, and areas that have already failed?

Kristina Bowen 

Kristina Bowen

(Biology/environmental studies Senior Inquiry Project)

Kristina is looking at fecal coliform in the stormwater of Rock Island and Moline. She has selected six

watersheds and three sample sites within each watershed where she collected water samples. She then took these samples to the lab for analysis using a specific DNA primer in hopes to answer the following research question:

• Is fecal coliform present in the watersheds of Rock Island and Moline?

Lorraine Stamberger

(Geography and Environmental Studies Senior Inquiry Project) Reaching the Water's Edge: Riverfront Accessibility in the Quad Cities

Lorraine is trying to understand the level of access people in the Quad City community have to the Mississippi River. She is looking comparatively at the riverfront development of each individual cities making up the Quad Cities: Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, and Moline. She hopes to achieve to understand riverfront accessibility using both a riverfront accessibility index as well as a survey assessing and measuring residents perceived use, image, and accessibility to the Mississippi River. By analyzing this data, Lorraine hopes to answer the following research questions:

• How visually, physically, and equally accessible are riverfronts in the Quad Cities compared to one another?
• Does the level of measured accessibility in the four cities impact the use and image of the Mississippi River, as reported by Quad City's residents? If so, what are the impacts?