ASPEN DAILY NEWS 5-16-16 Students Analyze Snowpack

May 16, 2016
Local students get to analyze the snowpack from up high

EcoFlight’s student program has taken to the air,  again. On May 11, students from science classes at Yampah, Roaring Fork and Glenwood Springs high schools had a chance to see the big picture of what a watershed looks like from the cockpit of small airplanes during a fly-over of the Roaring Fork River watershed.

Christina Medved, Watershed Education Director from Roaring Fork Conservancy, joined EcoFlight’s educational discussion with the students about snowpack in the Elk Mountains, according to a statement from EcoFlight. They learned how 30 million people downstream depend on water from the Colorado River for agriculture, recreation and domestic use.

“We saw so many little lakes and ponds, and where our water comes from,” Carl Wright, a junior at Yampah High School, was quoted as saying.

Bella Reiley, a senior at Roaring Fork High School, said, “We were surprised to see how much agriculture we have here, and how close it is, I didn’t realize how much we had around here.”

EcoFlight uses small airplanes as a vehicle to educate students, scientists and stakeholders about conservation issues; students are encouraged to have a voice for their environment.

According to Medved, their mission overlaps with of the Roaring Fork Conservancy.

“Our mission is to inspire people to explore, value and protect our watershed. These are the next generation of decision-makers who will have to deal with these issues – water and growth – in the future, so why not educate them and show them firsthand how important this watershed is to us and those downstream?” she noted in a statement.

Brooke Bockelman, the experiential programs manager for the Buddy Program, further explained: “This is an amazing opportunity that the students have been looking forward to all year. They talked about watershed and conservation issues in their public lands management unit earlier in the year and this is a great way for them to connect what they learned in the classroom with the bigger picture.”