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Connie Coggins McKeel (’88) observing wildlife in the Saltville well fields.

E&H Alumni Team Up with Community Partners for the Sake of Science

The E&H Alumni Association, Smyth County Public Libraries, and the Holston Rivers Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist (HRVMN) joined forces to offer a three-part series to celebrate citizen science – the act of community persons collecting data that can be used for scientific research.
Posted November 12, 2021

The library system wanted to recognize Citizen Science Month (April), HRVMN wanted to do an iNaturalist project logging flora and fauna around the well fields in Saltville (photo below), and the E&H Alumni Association wanted to offer events to keep alumni engaged. The series brought great success on all three fronts.

The online events were well-attended, with more than 375 engagements from alumni and community members. The project was featured on the front page of the Smyth County News, and the three branches of the Smyth County libraries featured take-home packets for kids to teach and engage on issues of science.

Caption: Connie Coggins McKeel (’88) observing wildlife in the Saltville well fields.

Recordings of the three events are still available to watch, and they each offer great information to learn before heading outside to experience and appreciate the natural world.

  • The Natural History of Saltville (Jeremy Stout, Executive Director of The Steel Creek Nature Center)
  • Top 10 Waterfowl Seen in Saltville (Katie Cordle, president HRVMN)
  • iNaturalist and Citizen Science (Tony Iwane, iNaturalist headquarters)

Find links to each event on the alumni webpage: ehc.edu/alumni.

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