Accentuating Ascarate: Engineering Students Help Improve El Paso County Park
CHRISTINA RODRIGUEZ | July 10, 2017 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
Community engaged scholarship is one way the University gives back to the region, and provides relevant learning experiences to students at the same time. In this photo, civil engineering students are testing the water in Ascarate Lake as part of a project with the El Paso County Commissioners to improve the lake's water quality.
Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre / UTEP Communications
Civil engineering students in a senior design course are working closely with the El Paso County Commissioners' Court to improve Ascarate Lake's water quality and make Ascarate Park more functional and appealing.
In September 2016, county commissioners provided students with five charges: restoring lake water quality and protecting it from golden algae blooms and fish kill; making walking and hiking trails compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; locating and designing soccer fields; resolving stormwater ponding issues; and designing a scenic event amphitheater.
Under the direction of Ivonne Santiago, Ph.D., civil engineering clinical professor; Raed Aldouri, Ph.D., research associate professor and director of the Regional Geospatial Center at UTEP; and Elizabeth Walsh, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences and director of UTEP's Border Biomedical Research Center, students have already collected data on oxygen levels, pH and depth, and will be performing further sampling for other contaminants, as well as the presence of algae.
As the project progresses, they will be testing several plants to see which ones are best at controlling nutrient concentrations in the lake.
"There are 12 students in the course but we have additional students who are volunteering," Santiago said. "We also have private consultants who volunteer as mentors for the students in the areas of structural, geotechnical, environmental, transportation, and construction management."
For the full article, please visit: http://www.utep.edu/newsfeed/campus/Better-Together-UTEP-Scholars-Engage-with-Community.html.