• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • Nisqually to Paradise delays and Kautz Creek area closure.

    Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. Beginning May 29 to mid-July, all services at the Kautz Creek parking and picnic area are closed through the week. Limited parking on Sat & Sun. More »

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    Be aware of hidden- and potentially fatal- hazards created by snow bridges and high streamflows on Mount Rainier. More »

Stream Team

Students wading in a stream to collect macroinvertebrates.
Students wading in a stream to collect macroinvertebrates to use in assessing the health of the stream.
Overview: Students investigate the relative water quality of a stream by conducting a simulated bioassessment by sampling aquatic macroinvertebrates (represented by ordinary materials) in order to prepare for a real-life macroinvertebrate survey that will be conducted with the National Parks Aquatic Resources field team at one of Mount Rainier's streams, rivers, or lakes in order to assess the overall health of that body of water.
Grade Level:
5 - 8
Objectives: Students will:
  • investigate the role that aquatic macroinvertebrates play in determining water quality
  • simulate the process of rapid bioassessment of aquatic macroinvertebrates
  • collect, sort, classify, identify, analyze, and evaluate a sample of materials representing aquatic macroinvertebrates
  • determine a stream's water quality using a pollution tolerance index based on a sample of aquatic macroinvertebrates
  • compare the differences between the relative water quality of different samples
Lesson Plan:
Stream Team - word, 53KB
Stream Team - pdf, 553KB
Resources: Stream Team Data Sheet

Did You Know?

The toe of Carbon Glacier appears dirty as it is covered in silt. Mount Rainier is in the background.

Carbon Glacier, on the north side of Mount Rainier, comes to the lowest elevation of any glacier in the lower 48 states at 3500 feet. It is also Mount Rainier's thickest glacier, one section being nearly 700 feet thick.