Truckee High students study insects, bugs in local creeks |

Truckee High students study insects, bugs in local creeks

Special to the Sun

As part of Mr. Kirby Reed's Marine Biology class at Truckee High School this spring, students investigated two local waterways.

Over the past several years, this class has sampled aquatic insects at both Donner Creek and Cold Stream and historically found more insects in Cold Stream.

This year, with the help of instructors from Headwaters Science Institute, students designed their own research projects to figure out why there is such a difference. Members of the class worked in groups to test several different hypotheses.

In addition to sampling the aquatic insects living in both streams, student projects' included measuring the habitat quality of each location, collecting pH and water nutrient levels, studying the stream channel, and quantifying human impact.

The students found that both streams were quite healthy with very little nutrient pollution in the water.

However, in trying to solve the mystery of why there are fewer aquatic insects in Donner Creek than Cold Stream their data suggested that the colder, faster flowing water found in Cold Stream, as well as reduced human impact, makes for a better environment for aquatic insects.

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This program was run by instructors from Headwaters Science Institute, a local nonprofit, and was funded by the Truckee Tahoe Airport Foundation, the Truckee Rotary, and contributions from individual donors.

This article was provided by Headwaters Science Institute. Visit to learn more.