Creative Campus hosts creator of watershed project

In what would otherwise be a normal meeting for Creative Campus, students had the opportunity Wednesday to hear from Alan Kolok, a biology professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and director of Nebraska Watershed Network. Kolok visited The University of Alabama to discuss his project, “What’s In Your Watershed?”

Kolok held an interactive lecture, engaging students and faculty members by explaining the main goal of the project, then fielded comments and criticisms.

The goal of the project is to show the public of Nebraska and surrounding areas that their water could be tainted with an herbicide called atrazine. The test uses a small strip of paper and gives direct yes or no answers as to if water contains the toxin. The data is then used to make maps showing the affected areas.

After giving a basic overview of his project, Kolok asked the students and faculty of Creative Campus for their input.

One popular idea suggested contacts be established at The University of Alabama who could act as a network between Kolok and the University, and that he could do the same at his university.

Another student compared this idea to the Black Warrior River Savers and suggested making the project enjoyable and interesting to students would boost volunteer numbers.

Danny Ryan, a sophomore majoring in business, helped organize the event and said he was happy with the result.

“Alan came to us and I thought it was a great idea to open a network with him,” Ryan said.

He said he hopes to open the network to the entire university, and possibly even other universities.

Kirkland Back, a junior majoring in English, said she enjoyed the chance to brainstorm with someone not typically associated with Creative Campus.

“It’s always interesting to see people from all over be interested in us,” Back said. “It validates what we’re doing.”