Hear from our stream team volunteers!

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"I think citizen science can be really powerful in developing people's sense of place."

"Just because, I would imagine that a lot of people who do stream team spend a lot of time in the Rattlesnake but I think there is a difference between walking around in the main corridor and from putting on waders, standing in the creek, and holding rocks. It’s a cool opportunity to play around in space.”

“On a personal level, I felt like I never, I don't know, I always shied away from science, I’ve never enjoyed science, and did not want to be apart of the STEM field whatsoever. And I think citizen science is advocacy building, it showed me that, ‘oh hey you can do science’ it’s not all organic chemistry, and it can be collecting data or doing these fun things in the stream. I think that’s what it does for me like ‘oh hey, you can be a scientist and stuff.’” 

-Devin Filicicchia

The WEN staff conducted these interviews to gauge how our 2021 Stream Team Programs impacted our volunteers and tp receive feedback on how we could strengthen our programs. 

Devin beside the Rattlesnake Creek.

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"I think citizen science is the pinnacle of a healthy community."

"My personal favorite thing was doing actual water chemistry, I totally nerded out about that, I thought it was so neat, and using actual chemicals to take real data was real fun. Going from taking chemicals samples and getting data points there that gave us little clues about the health of the water and health of the environment and going over to the invertebrate table and looking at the caddisflies and little wormies and all the different bugs and beings, i don't know I just think it is all connected and it was really cool to see that."

-Elsa Smith 

Elsa conducting a chemical test.

“I love the camaraderie of the group, being in the stream together and trying to figure things out” “hmm… how do we account for this super weird root sticking out or how do we get over this rock?”

" I think citizen science is a great way for people to kinda fulfill childhood dreams of looking at bugs and counting rocks and it’s going to matter for something. You get to learn about some sort of stream ecology and share it with friends.”

“I will say that I was really deterred in college from doing real science because I had really bad experiences in high school with chemistry and physics, because this is really technical and you have to know a thousand formulas. So I did enjoy redeeming my relationship with chemistry and tell myself, oh yeah, I can still do this and that was really cool. It was fun reclaiming my relationship.” 

-Bela Garcia-Arce 
 

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Bela Garcia-Arce conducting a physical cross section.

There are still more interviews to come.. 

Are you interested in sharing a Stream Team story and/or piece of feedback with us at WEN? 

Email our Communications Coordinator, Brook at Communications@montanawatershed.org

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“I get to play in the river with my friends and do science while I’m at it!”

“I think that citizen science is important because it forces people to care about their backyard. Because it’s a lot easier to forget about the importance of water quality and the organisms that reside in the streams or rivers when you are just reading about it on paper. But as soon as you are forced to engage with it first hand you are engaged to start to form that relationship with the beauty of the natural world, and then you start to care about it because you’ve experienced it first hand.”

-Hannah Kranz

Hannah Kranz next to the new beaver dam on the Upper Rattlesnake.