Twenty-two students participated at Northeastern’s Co-op Expo on Friday, February 7th. Michelle O’Donnell, an Environmental Science major in the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences, designed a poster to reflect her accomplishments and learning experiences during her work (co-op) semester last year. She presented her data to about 250 university leaders, faculty and students at the event.
Michelle worked as a part of the River Instream Flow Stewards (RIFLS) program on streamflow conservation with the Division of Ecological Restoration (DER). Streamflow data helps to illustrate the impacts of water consumption on the watershed that communities draw their water from. The RIFLS program monitors small streams and rivers that might otherwise become overburdened by the demand. Michelle helped with this data analysis using a water balance modeling program called the Water Evaluation and Planning system (WEAP) to create informational documents for volunteers invloved with the RIFLS program. “With WEAP,” she said, “I created a base model for the heavily burdened Jones River and the associated streams, lakes, and reservoirs that provide water to the city of Brockton.” She found working with water issues gratifying and would like to continue working on water-related topics both in the office and in the field.