Making The Invisible Visible: Water Quality in Stark County’ to provide critical information and education on Nimishillen Creek watershed

CANTON, Ohio (PRWEB) June 04, 2012

In a unique and groundbreaking collaboration, students from five colleges and universities in Stark County, and several nationally recognized science and environmental partners, will focus on testing local water resources beginning June 5. The water sampling project, Making the Invisible Visible: Water Quality in Stark County, is funded by the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation.

In addition, the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation is pleased to sponsor guest speaker, Edith Widder, Ph.D., acclaimed biologist and co-founder and CEO of Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA). Widder will be at Kent State University at Stark on Tuesday, June 5, from 8:00-10:00 a.m. to address students, faculty and community leaders before they begin testing. Nearly 20 students are expected to participate from Kent State University at Stark, Stark State College, Malone University, the University of Mount Union and Walsh University.

Students will utilize ORCA’s Fast Assessment of Sediment Toxicity procedure to analyze water and collect baseline sediment particles from 75 sites along the Nimishillen Creek Watershed. The samples will then be scientifically analyzed for pollutants in laboratories at the universities and colleges, as well as ORCA’s home base in Florida. This will complement and support EPA-mandated monitoring in the region. Researchers from the local colleges and universities who specialize in these areas will lead the efforts in additional testing, which include sampling of other water quality parameters, macro invertebrates, pH levels and habitat type and quality, among others.

An environmental filmmaking team composed of award-winning filmmaker, Ali Habashi; filmmaker Colton Hoover Chase; and journalism professors and students from Kent State University, will document the project. Making the Invisible Visible is an ongoing component of the HOOVER INITIATIVE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIA at Kent State University at Stark.

“The Herbert W. Hoover Foundation is proud to fund such an important project that brings multiple educational institutions and disciplines together working toward a common goal: to help us better understand our environment,” said Colton Hoover Chase, Vice Chairman of the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation. Chase’s primary focus is on ecosystem science and specifically how to articulate issues facing the environment to the general public through the use of film and other new media forms. He continued, “The Foundation funded this water sampling project in the hopes that we could enhance the visibility of water issues, and help communities like ours work on solutions to keep these waterways pristine.”

According to Dr. Penny L. Bernstein, Associate Professor Biological Sciences at Kent State University at Stark and project coordinator, “Agencies do not have the resources needed to sample water throughout Stark County on a regular basis. Making the Invisible Visible provides science education to students throughout the County, and additional baseline water quality data for the County’s watershed, supplementing the more periodic data from the EPA and other agencies.”

For more information regarding Making the Invisible Visible: Water Quality in Stark County, or to see clips of the students in action, please visit

About the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation

Herbert W. Hoover was an industrialist and early leader in the conservation movement, fighting to protect natural resources in both Ohio and Florida through accurate scientific research, public information and education. Founded in 1990, the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation has taken up the mantle, and established itself as a leader in funding unique opportunities that provide solutions to issues related to the Community, Education, and the Environment. For more information, visit or email contact hwh(at)hwhfoundation(dot)org.

Tiffini Bloniarz


Source / Credit: Yahoo! News

Other Coverage on this Event

Massillon Independent – Testing the water: College students help determine its quality
June 6, 2012

Canton Repository – Area colleges help track pollution of Stark’s waterways

June 6, 2012

North Canton Patch (online publication) – What’s in Your Water? Kent Stark Students, Faculty Embark on Project to Find Out

June 6, 2012

Kent State University – Natural Collaboration: Dr. Penny Bernstein

June 5, 2012