Published on September 2, 2014  

Samford University’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences is collaborating with the Jefferson County Department of Health for a unique program for local high school students 9 a.m.-11:30 am Sept 6.

“What’s Bugging You: Analyzing Water Quality in Shades Creek” will draw on the expertise of Samford professors Kristin Bakkegard and Betsy Dobbins, and Scott Hofer and Jonika Smith of the county department’s Watershed Protection Division.

Approximately 30 students from Mountain Brook High School, Homewood High School and Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School will learn about storm water and how to measure water quality using aquatic macroinvertebrates. 

The event will be held in the outdoor recreation pavilion and in Shades Creek across Lakeshore Drive from Samford’s campus. 

Bakkegard and Dobbins both are leaders in environmental education and service.

Bakkegard and her Samford students have done essential research on the last known population of spotted salamanders in Shades Valley. The Friends of Shades Creek honored Bakkegard with their 2014 Volunteer Educator of the Year Award.

Dobbins sponsors student research projects in Five Mile Creek and Shades Creek in the Birmingham area. She is the coordinator for Samford's Earth Day, a member of the Executive Board of the Cahaba River Society, secretary of the board of the Friends of Shades Creek, and a member of the Black Warrior Riverkeeper Advisory Council.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.