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Stream Restoration Technology Could Save Our Streams

5/1/2007 —

Penn State York's Science and Technology Seminar Series for 2007 comes to a close on Tuesday, May 1 at 4:30 p.m. with "Stream Restoration in the Pennsylvania Piedmont” featuring Matthew P. Hoch, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Penn State York. Hoch will look at one approach to restoring streams to their natural flow and habitat. The approach takes a look at redesigning the channels so streams flow with a minimum of erosion. Hoch’s research is assessing the effectiveness of this restoration technology.

Hoch will discuss the impact of erosion on the health and habitat of streams. The erosion of the stream banks is harmful because of the sediments that “clog the stream.” Sediments cover algae, get into the gills of fish, and can cause major damage to the stream’s environment. Streams carry a great deal of sediment chock full of nutrients which ultimately spill into the Chesapeake Bay. Hoch notes that too much of a good thing can cause damage.

Hoch began his position at Penn State York in 2002 as an assistant professor of microbial and aquatic biology. He teaches courses in microbiology, microbial diversity, aquatic ecology, oceanography, environmental science, ecology, and tropical ecology in Belize. In addition to Codorus Creek Restoration Efficacy Program (CCREP) research, he maintains projects on microbial community diversity assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), nitrogen stress in aquatic bacteria assessed by enzymatic and molecular approaches, in silico metagenomic analysis of nitrogen metabolism of marine bacteria, and most recently on marine photoheterotrophic bacteria isolation and growth in collaboration with David L. Kirchman, Ph.D., University of Delaware. All of his research is facilitated by student participation. Hoch and his students are also active in watershed education through community outreach programs.

The series is sponsored by the Penn State York Student Activity Fee, an anonymous donor, and the science, math, and engineering faculty at the campus. For more information regarding the series visit http://www2.yk.psu.edu/~mph13/STSS07.htm online

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