Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Watershed lesson in Haiti

While in Haiti for a scientific lake and stream expedition, I had the opportunity to teach a group of students that I had taught in 2012 (ornithology seminars) and 2013 (an ecology class) - the agronomy students at Institut Professionnel et de Formation Technique en Agronomie (IPFTA) in Les Cayes Haiti.  The previous week the students helped my boss and me survey the watersheds of Etang Douat and Etang Lachaux.  Then Don and I held a 2-afternoon class to teach more about the watersheds, using Project Based Learning which focuses on learning while doing a project rather than straight lecture.  The project was to draw watersheds, immediately after a 1 hr discussion by Don about what we observed in the lake watersheds, and again at the end of the 2nd day after learning what factors in the watershed cause contaminated drinking water.  The final watersheds were much more detailed than the first ones, and students demonstrated that they understood what land-use practices improve and degrade water quality.  Thank you teacher Decossard for translating!