The Leaf Pack Network is an initiative of Stroud™ Water Research Center. The Stroud Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration.

Goals and Objectives

Goals for Involvement in the Leaf Pack Network®

  • To actively engage students in investigative and place-based watershed education in environmental science, technology, engineering, and math (E-STEM) content
  • To promote student inquiry by using scientific methods involving observational and explanatory
    activities
  • To raise awareness of the importance of streamside forests to the ecology of rivers and streams and to promote their stewardship
  • To develop a diverse and dynamic network of groups that digitally share information about their
    backyard streams
  • To use the Leaf Pack Stream Ecology Kit and other teaching resources to improve hands-on E-STEM education and teacher professional development

Objectives for Involvement in the Leaf Pack Network

At the conclusion of the project, students will have:

  • Used the Leaf Pack Network as a tool to apply and understand scientific principles in a real-world situation
  • Conducted a research-oriented investigation of their local stream(s)
  • Engaged in inquiry-based, hands-on data gathering and monitoring
  • Observed and described aquatic food webs and resource availability among communities,
    populations, and organisms in a freshwater ecosystem
  • Identified local tree species and their function as food and habitat in freshwater ecosystems
  • Identified local macroinvertebrates
  • Explored macroinvertebrates’ roles as valuable indicators of stream health
  • Identified their local watershed using a map
  • Measured physical characteristics of a stream
  • Analyzed macroinvertebrate data by using indices to assess water quality
  • Formulated research questions related to leaf packs and E-STEM disciplines
  • Drawn conclusions based on empirical evidence about the relationships among habitat, land use, and macroinvertebrate diversity and density
  • Identified a way to improve water quality and minimize human impact in a local stream
  • Collected real data in real places to improve capacity for real-world decision-making surrounding
    water-quality impacts and watershed stewardship