Reporter 441, 25 October 1999

Telling the tales of the riverbank

River watchers
River watchers:(from left) Katherine Roberts, Aileen Gemmell, Dr Jamie Woodward, the Environment Agency's Andrea Shaftoe and Claire Seymore check the quality of a local riverbank

Ten geography students from the University are now professionally qualified to help protect the quality of the country's rivers and streams.

The MSc students successfully carried out a two-day river habitat survey programme under the watchful eye of the Environment Agency's regional conservation officer Andrea Shaftoe.

The accreditation scheme for habitat surveys are a key part of the Environment Agency's efforts to monitor the quality of aquatic habitats. The programme included lectures and field-based training at watercourses throughout the Leeds region.

Dr Jamie Woodward, who runs the MSc in Catchment Dynamics and Management, said the programme will now be available to more students, and that its accreditation reflects growing links between the Masters programme and the Environment Agency.

"The scheme has proved to be extremely popular and worthwhile as it allows our students to obtain a professional qualification as part of their Masters training," said Dr Woodward. "It also gives them the opportunity to tender for contracts to carry out river habitat surveys." More

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