Assessment and Monitoring of Water Quality in Lake Waughop as a Service-Learning Project: A Case Study Approach

Date of Award


Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no embargo, no restriction)

Work Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

James Gawel

Second Advisor

Cheryl Greengrove


When combined with service-learning and environmental history, restoration ecology can provide a rewarding and innovative approach to education. By using nearby open spaces, be they parks, school grounds, vacant lots, or urban creeks, educational institutions can help students develop a sense of place and a commitment to helping their local communities. There are many open spaces that would benefit from ecological restoration and using nature as a classroom benefits both students and the local community. To facilitate this process a framework based on a historical case study of Lake Waughop was designed so that educational institutions may use it as a guide to incorporate ecological restoration and service-learning into their courses. This small kettle lake in Washington State has been severely degraded due to anthropogenic activities since the 1800s and has several cyanobacterial blooms annually. Water quality sampling of Lake Waughop was done intermittently in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011 to provide baseline data for present lake conditions as a comparison to future monitoring. Several methods for restoration of a polluted freshwater lake were investigated; riparian management, limited chemical treatment, mechanical mixing, and dredging may all be options for partial or complete restoration of Lake Waughop. Learning modules were developed to teach students water quality monitoring and ecological restoration methods; instructors may use one component or all. These modules incorporate service-learning and ecological restoration to impart valuable cultural, personal, and scientific learning, benefiting students on many levels.