Lesson Plan

Water Quality Monitoring - High School

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Grade Level:
Ninth Grade-College Undergraduate Level
biological inventory, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, water quality, monitoring, bioindicator, pH, air pollution effects


Great Smoky Mountains National Park has over 2,100 miles of streams and rivers that flow through the park. The park researchers monitor water quality, fish populations, and watersheds to better understand the dynamics of water running through diverse ecosystems. This unit is broken into three parts involving a trip to the park, a preparation activity and a wrap-up activity.


1) become familiar with the vocabulary associated with water quality monitoring
2) become familiar with the types of water quality tests within water quality monitoring
3) become familiar with the basics of a stream
4) understand the biodiversity of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
5) recognize that many plants and animals in the park are endemic species, meaning they are known to live only in the park
6) become familiar with the current threats to the water systems within the park

Last updated: April 14, 2015