Color Country Works with Community to Support Excitement in Learning
The Color Country District, Cedar City recently participated in the Southern Utah Science and Engineering Fair on March 22. Involvement in events, like this Science Fair, conveys BLM’s investment in the local community. Ed Ginouves, geologist for the Cedar City Field Office (CCFO), represented the BLM by judging projects in the Natural Resource- Special Award Category.
Ginouves had the difficult task of reviewing 300 student projects and selecting only two winners for the Natural Resource Special Award. Southern Utah National Conservation Land Friends group partnered with CCFO and provided each of the winners with a certificate and outdoor gear to encourage their continued interest in public land.
Sadie Compton, a student from Mt. Harmon Jr. High was the first place winner, with her presentation of data collected from the aftermath of the Seeley Fire- a large fire that occurred 15 miles northwest of Huntington, Utah during June-July, 2012. Sadie investigated the affected populations of small to large mammals and fisheries within the fire area. Ginouves had this to say about Sadie’s results, “Surprisingly - to me at least - the population of small mammals did not decline that much as apparently they survived the fire in underground burrows. Not surprisingly, fisheries were wiped out by massive siltation of streams from runoff of denuded fire areas.”
The second place winner, Jed Jensen, is a student from Lava Ridge Middle School. Jed chose his project “How Clean is Our River” because he and his friends frequent a stream nearby his home. He wondered if any pollutants might be in the stream and where they may originate. Jed concluded that the most significant water degradation was coming from residential areas, in the form of nitrate (lawn fertilizer) runoffs.
Ginouves had this to say about his experience “'I’ve judged similar science fairs twice since I've been in Cedar City. It's always a positive experience to visit these fairs. The participants are always eager to discuss their projects with the judges and their enthusiasm is contagious.” Ginouves along with the rest of Color Country’s staff were proud to share in the exciting moment with Sadie and Jed. Sadie could be heard, as she came off the stage, saying “I won, I am so excited”. Needless to say these two middle school students won’t forget this learning experience anytime soon.