MARS HILL, N.C. — Mars Hill College Associate Professor of Chemistry Meredith Newman was one of 6 individual and groups to be presented with the “Friends of the River” Awards on Aug. 29 by the Land-of-Sky Regional Council.
These awards recognize individuals, private organizations, civic groups and/or public agencies in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties in North Carolina. The award recipients are people who have made significant contributions toward the enhancement or restoration of the French Broad River as a cultural, economic, natural or recreational resource.
Newman has established an ongoing water testing program at Mars Hill College that engages students, teaches them scientific testing methods and provides valuable stream quality data on the French Broad River and its eight tributaries. Students involved in the program this year are Andrew Brandt, Chris Platt and Drew Rohskopf.
Newman was nominated for the award by Madison County, N.C., Soil Conservationist Sara Nichols who works with the students on the project.
After collecting water samples from several areas in Madison County, students test each sample for numerous characteristics, including PH level, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, conductivity, phosphates, suspended solids, nitrates and fecal levels.
The students then chart the data based on the location and any changes in the environment than may have affected the water.
Mars Hill College is a private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees and one graduate degree in elementary education. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville, N.C., in the mountains of western North Carolina. For more information, visit www.mhc.edu or call 1-866-MHC-4-YOU.