Good Things Come in Threes: Exciting News From the Leaf Pack Network

500 292 Stroud Water Research Center

The Leaf Pack Network® was born nearly 30 years ago as a pilot project of Stroud Water Research Center in collaboration with the Hudson Basin River Watch and the Riverkeeper Network. It has grown into an international network of teachers, students, and citizen monitors investigating their local stream ecosystems. We are excited to announce three major improvements for 2020!

New Leaf Pack Stream Ecology Kit Featuring Sensitivity Groups

The Leaf Pack Stream Ecology Kit helps you discover the value of macroinvertebrates as living indicators of water quality. The kit is a totally reusable and flexible tool that can be adapted for varying time limits, number of participants, and grade levels.

The Stroud Center and LaMotte Company are pleased to announce the release of an updated kit featuring a new dichotomous key, new sorting sheet, updated manual, and a simplified biotic index calculation. It includes a comprehensive instructor’s manual and all of the equipment needed for collecting, sorting, and identifying aquatic insects. Learn more

Introducing the Monitor My Watershed Data Portal

The Monitor My Watershed® data portal lets you share Leaf Pack Network data with the world. It also lets you explore sensor datasets from EnviroDIY™, a do-it-yourself environmental science and monitoring community.

The data portal offers a number of improvements over the Leaf Pack Network database that was in use from 2001-2017. With Monitor My Watershed, project sites are displayed on a map, making it easier to find sites that interest you. And you’ll find leaf/rock pack placement, retrieval, and composition data; storm and non-storm events; macroinvertebrate counts; and summary analysis all on a single page. Visit the Leaf Pack Network Data page for instructions on how to enter and/or view leaf pack data on Monitor My Watershed.

Monitor My Watershed, Leaf Pack Network, and EnviroDIY are initiatives of the Stroud Center and part of the WikiWatershed® Toolkit.

Exploring Ecosystem Engineers With the Rock Pack Experiment

Building on the success of the Leaf Pack Network, scientists and educators from Montana State University and the Stroud Center have created an exciting extension of the Leaf Pack Network: the Rock Pack Experiment.

The Rock Pack Experiment combines STEM topics of engineering, ecology, geomorphology, and mathematics in stream ecosystems through the world of the net-spinning caddisfly.

Interactive and hands-on activities can be used indoors or outdoors in a 7th-12th grade lesson plan to get students excited about insects and rocks in streams and to learn interdisciplinary science skills and real-world science research applications.

Through a Division of Environmental Biology Ecosystem Studies grant funded by the National Science Foundation, the team has developed monitoring methods, lessons for students, a manual, video presentations, posters, handouts, and more.

Check out the Rock Pack Experiment page to view these resources and learn how you can get involved in this exciting new program!