We made it! This month marks the end of 2017, opening up doors to new opportunities, ambitions, goals, friendships, and that sense of rejuvenation that comes with every new year.
For us, it’s the start to another year of having the privilege to protect the 191,000 miles of Texas waterways. Texas Stream Team continues to thank each and everyone of you for your support and efforts. We couldn’t do it without you.
Cheers to a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!
Sincerely, Valerie Villarreal
Outreach and Communication Specialist
The New Year Brings Hellos and a Farewell to our Staff
Farewell to Meadows Center Extraordinaire Meredith Miller
Meredith Miller has taken a new position as the director of the Sinkin Eco Centro, which is a community outreach center for environmental sustainability, operated by San Antonio College. Meredith joined The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment in 2007, first as a grad student, then as a coordinator, and worked her way to a
Senior Program Coordinator. She worked in several capacities ranging from water conservation research to international watershed management.
Texas Stream Team thanks Meredith for her time and efforts with us. Under her guidance, she doubled the number of volunteers and tripled the number of program partners. Meredith is now a Fellow of The Meadows Center and is working to establish a new TST partnership with Alamo Colleges EcoCentro and grow the San Antonio Stream Team monitoring efforts. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication, Meredith!
Hello, Robert Mace, Meadows Centers New Chief Water Policy Officer
Robert Mace was the deputy executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). With the TWDB, Mace led a department of 70 scientists, engineers, and specialists dedicated to better understanding groundwater and surface water resources. He has over 20 years of experience at the highest level of state government and is one of the most respected water professionals in Texas. Mace has authored or coauthored more than 200 reports, papers and abstracts, and given more than 200 speeches on water.
Hello, Rob Dussler, Meadows Center's New Chief Education Officer
Rob Dussler is developing an outdoor education research program at The Meadows Center and is overseeing the Spring Lake environmental education programs and outdoor recreation activities. In this position, he is also focusing on promoting the protection of the San Marcos Springs, as well as fostering an appreciation and stewardship of its natural and cultural resources.
Hello, Valerie Villarreal, TST's New Outreach and Communication Specialist
Valerie Villarreal started working for The Meadows Center as a tour guide, and later worked under Meredith Miller and Jenna Walker on the Cypress Creek Project, the San Marcos Watershed Initiative, and Trash Free Trinity. Villarreal joined TST in September 2017 as their new Outreach and Communications Specialist.
TST Community Forum Launched!
Our new Texas Stream Team Community Forum is now available! This is a place for our citizen scientists, partners, groups, trainers, volunteers, water enthusiasts, etc. to connect with each other, share stories, resources, and learn more about water-related projects in Texas and beyond. Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged!
New Data Viewer Coming Soon!
Our partner AIQUEOUS is working hard on the new data viewer. Many of the changes are behind the scenes, but expect a refined interface and improved data entry. All data and accounts will transfer, so look for an e-mail in the coming months.
A TST RECAP OF 2017
Check out the results of our collaborative efforts!
TST'S NEW RAIN GARDEN AT SPRING LAKE
A new rain garden has been installed at Spring Lake by TST staff! The construction for the rain garden began mid October. Plants were selected after researching a number of resources, including: “Rain Garden Austin Grow Green,” and “Native and Adapted Landscape Plants an Earthwise Guide for Central Texas” by the City of Austin, Texas AgriLife Extension, and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The plants were then purchased from the San Marcos Nature Center Plant Sale.
Much of the lumber for the beds was donated by Darlin Jones from the Outback Fence Company. We want to give a big thank you to the Texas State University - San Marcos Grounds & Waste Management Departments for helping us install our rain garden. The last of the rain garden was completed November 21st. Come today and visit our demonstration rain garden at Spring Lake. Please check our website in the upcoming weeks for additional rain garden resources, including a rain garden how-to.
TEXAS MASTER NATURALIST 18TH ANNUAL MEETING
TST's Water Resource Specialist Michael Jones made an appearance at the Texas Master Naturalist 2017 Annual Meeting held in Corpus Christi on October 20-22. At the Texas Waters Day Event held at the Texas State Aquarium on October 20th, Jones spoke about the citizen scientist opportunities offered by the Texas Stream Team. On October 21st, a Texas Stream Team Standard Core Water Quality Monitoring Training was offered for new water quality volunteer monitors who attended the Texas Master Naturalists 18th Annual Meeting.
Additionally, on October 19th at the KEDT Radio Station, Jones hosted a Texas Stream Team Riparian Bulls-Eye Evaluation Training with Sky Lewey, Director of Resource Protection and Education of the Nueces River Authority. The training included a field trip to two different sites located at Oso Creek.
TREES FOR THE BLANCO REFORESTATION
By: Dyhanara Rios
TreeFolks is looking for volunteers to plant trees along the Blanco River affected by the Memorial Day Weekend Floods of 2015. Volunteers will plant seedlings this winter which provide important environmental benefits to the Hays County community and will help reduce damage from future flood events.
Trees for the Blanco is a multi-year reforestation campaign focused on Blanco River ecosystem recovery. Activities include planting trees and providing comprehensive reforestation services to landowners affected by the flooding. More than 40 volunteers planted about 900 trees in Wimberley at the previous event on November 18.
Upcoming dates to volunteer are December 10, 2017, January 6, 2018, and February 10, 2018. Planting locations will be on privately owned property in Hays County; TreeFolks will send a reminder a few days before the event with further details about the locations.
TreeFolks is one of our many Texas Stream Team partners; specifically, to help expand citizen science activities along the Blanco River and in Central Texas. Learn more about the partnership here, and contact TST if you have ideas on how we can partner with you.
All That Glitter? It's Not Good, Critics Say
With the holidays and winter graduation just around the corner, the excitement for art and crafts and pictures comes along. Families decorate their homes, ornaments, and presents with various kinds and colors of glitter, and students take pictures tossing it in the air. While this can create nice photo ops, and a stunning, decorated looking home, the glitter that travels its way to the river can pose harmful effects. Many people may not be aware of the harm glitter can have to our environment. This article shares concerns some scientists have regarding the dangers the use of glitter can have on bodies of water. Read more.
Three Studies From UTA's Clear Lab Detect Harmful Pathogenic Bacteria in Texas Groundwater Near Natural Gas Extraction Sites
Three new research studies from the University of Texas as Arlington have found harmful pathogenic bacteria in Texas groundwater near unconventional natural gas extraction sites. Read more.
UPCOMING TEXAS STREAM TEAM TRAININGS
Looking to get Stream Team certified? You are in luck! Here are the upcoming trainings TST will be holding. Please note that some of these dates are still being planned. You can check back on the Texas Steam Team calendar for any date changes. If you are already registered for a training, we will contact you about any changes.
The following trainings are the Standard Core Kit Training offered by TST. The Standard Core Kit training is an introduction to water quality monitoring procedures for citizen scientists. The core kit measures for dissolved oxygen, pH, water temperature, and conductivity. New monitors receive an overview about Texas Stream Team and the watershed they're intending to monitor in In addition, they will learn how to conduct field observations on the river, stream, lake, or waterway they are monitoring.
Dallas Stand Core Kit Training When: January 3, 2018, 8:15am-3:30pm Where: Trinity River Audubon Center, Wet Lab #1, 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way (formerly S. Loop 12), 75217. (Directions: http://trinityriver.audubon.org/visit-us) Info: Lunch will be from 12-1pm, please bring a sack lunch as food options near hwy 175 are limited. Space is limited. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
UTSA Student Chapter Standard Core Kit Training When: January 13, 2018, Time TBD Where: UTSA. Exact location TBD Info:We are still planning this training. Please not that this training will be 4-6 hours long. Check back at our TST calendar soon for more info.
Mill Creek Watershed Partnership Standard Core Kit Training When: January 20, 2018, Time TBD Where: Bellville, Texas. Exact location TBD Info: We are still planning this training. Please not that this training will be 4-6 hours long. Check back at our TST calendar soon for more info.
San Marcos Standard Core Kit Training
When: January 21, 2018, 10am - 2pm Where: Ramon Lucio Park, 601 S CM Allen Pkwy, San Marcos, TX 78666 Info: Please contact Rachel Sanborn at email@example.com to find out more information and reserve a spot.
Texas Stream Team thanks you all for everything. We look forward to welcoming the New Year with you.