UTSA Alamo CIMA Mentor


Dr. Brian Laub

River Habitat Use by Fish and Other Aquatic Organisms

Changes in land use at the watershed scale can have severe impacts on aquatic organisms by modifying available habitat. A first step in predicting how organisms respond to changing land use is understanding their habitat preferences. The goal of this project is to survey the available habitat in a short river segment, determine whether organisms are preferentially choosing different habitat types, and determine which habitat components influence organism choice. Methodology will include habitat surveys and field sampling of aquatic organisms.

Requirements

  • none
Connectivity Patterns and Disruptions in Urban Stream Systems

Urban development can fragment stream systems by imposing barriers to upstream movement of organisms and downstream movement of organisms, nutrients, and organic matter. Potential barriers include culverts, check dams, and road crossings. Fragmentation of rivers impedes organism movement and alters ecosystem processes such as nutrient processing, and can thus threaten population persistence of fish and other organisms. Identifying connectivity barriers is a first step to managing impacts. In this project, potential barriers will be mapped in small watersheds in the San Antonio region and classified as full or partial barriers to upstream and downstream connectivity. Mapping and classification will be accomplished through a combination of GIS analysis and field verification.

Requirements

  • none
Effectiveness of Stormwater Treatment Facilities on the UTSA Campus

Treatment of stormwater runoff from urban areas is important for protection of water quality in local waterways and the Edwards Aquifer. In this project, students will assist in collection, processing, and analysis of stormwater samples collected upstream and downstream of treatment works on the UTSA campus. The work will inform whether treatments are effective at improving water quality of stormwater runoff.

Requirements

  • none
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