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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Children and Water Quality: Learning, Improving in Ohio and Uganda

May. 26, 2016
Suzanne Gray with school children from Lake Nabugabo, Uganda.
This news release was originally published on the website of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and was written by Mauricio Espinoza.
Fundraiser underway to help boost educational effort; ends May 31.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A fundraiser is underway at to support a creative educational effort that links elementary school students in Ohio and the East African nation of Uganda as they learn more about issues impacting water resources in their communities.
“Water Across the World” is a project led by Suzanne Gray, assistant professor of aquatic physiological ecology in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. It involves students from Muskingum County, Ohio, and Lake Nabugabo, Uganda.
“For the past few years, we have been trying to foster communication between the two groups of students about the similarities and differences in water quality issues each group faces,” said Gray, who studies how freshwater fish respond to environmental change and who has conducted research in Uganda since 2010.
“For example, water quality in the streams and rivers in Muskingum County might be influenced by pollution from urbanization, while in western Uganda agriculture and the destruction of wetlands might be the reasons driving poor water quality.”
The public is invited to contribute to this grassroots international effort by making a donation online, as low as $5. The goal is to reach $5,000 by May 31.
Students from the Muskingum County, Ohio group conduct water sampling at a wetland.
The funds, Gray said, will be used to help implement a water quality monitoring program so that students in both countries can study their water sources, compare their results and promote global awareness about water quality. Supplies needed include disposable, waterproof cameras; water quality monitoring kits; and a portable projector to display videos and other educational multimedia.
“The students we've worked with in both countries absolutely love being out collecting water quality data, especially collecting and identifying aquatic invertebrates,” Gray said.
“For some of the Ugandan children, this is their first experience doing hands-on science. Additionally, they are learning about the connections between human activities and poor water quality so they can begin thinking about ways to improve their drinking water.”
For more information about this project, contact Gray at or 614-292-4643.
Mauricio Espinoza
Suzanne Gray