Recently, JEO had the opportunity to inspire the next generation of STEM students.
JEO hosted students from various high schools near the Shell Creek
Watershed in Nebraska. The group consisted of students from Newman Grove, Lindsay, Platte Center, Schuyler, Lakeview, Humphrey, and Columbus. These schools have been working with the Shell Creek Watershed Improvement Group (SCWIG) for over a decade to monitor water quality and aquatic habitat in the creek. The group has also been implementing conservation practices with the help of Lower Platte North NRD, NRCS, NDEE, and other partners to improve the water quality in the creek. The stream was officially delisted from the EPA’s impaired waters list in 2018.
Zach Bogart, Eric Marrow, and Colleen Ocken from JEO’s Lincoln Office gave the students a tour of the office and discussed the career fields of environmental science and water resources engineering. During the tour, students were shown a variety of green infrastructure located within the Assurity Center Building, which is LEED Gold Certified. They even saw the resident goose that nests on the building’s green roof. JEO’s Eric Casper also presented on the Antelope Valley Project, providing a history lesson on the project, which runs right outside JEO’s Lincoln Office. The students could see the project from a bird’s eye view. The tour ended with a walk along the creek, where students were able to see project features up close.
Aside from the JEO tour, the students also visited NDEE’s Surface Water Lab, UNL’s Water Science Laboratory, and the Plant Growth Research Greenhouse at UNL’s Innovation Campus while in Lincoln.
The tour was a unique opportunity for the students to learn about environmental science and water resources engineering and see first-hand the importance of conservation practices in improving water quality.