NKU rain garden helps student research


As thunderclouds cover the sky Wednesday at Northern Kentucky University, students continue to tend to the rain garden.

Although this is not ideal summertime weather, the sky was helpful for what the environmental science students were studying.

Corey Shrader and Sarah Stryffeler are both NKU students spending their summers studying environmental science with Professor Kristy Hopfensperger. They collected and analyzed information from local wetlands.

Both students worked diligently both inside and outside of the laboratory to gather information about wetlands and how they help prevent flashfloods and pollution.

“Wetlands I kind of like to think of as guardians of the environment,” said Shrader, who travels to Covington once a week to collect information on a wetland in Cappel Park.

Stryffeler spends time at local wetlands as well, in attempt to figure out if wetlands are letting out greenhouse gases or retaining them. In addition, she uses special syringes and herbicides to test the soil and willow trees for greenhouse gases.

“If we find wetlands are polluting the atmosphere, or if we find out they are taking in greenhouse gases, we can use that knowledge to make them better,” Styffeler states.

Madeline Leesman