Lecture and field courses on water quality in the Upper Arkansas Valley. Join us for two courses about the Arkansas River, with one in Salida and one in Leadville. Each course includes a lecture and field component. Register for either lecture or field component or both in two locations.

Course 1 Lecture (hybrid in-person and virtual) will introduce the concepts of concentrations and contamination, review major groups of contaminants, and introduce various water quality limits (drinking water, stock water, irrigation water, aquatic wildlife). Participants will explore sources, measurement tools, and clean up strategies for common watershed contaminants.

The Course 1 Field Component will provide a survey of the South Arkansas River from Maysville to the juncture with the Arkansas and the Salida wastewater treatment plant. Participants will make three stops and survey the water quality at each location, and then discuss findings.

Course 2 Lecture (hybrid in-person and virtual) will focus on the formation of acid mine drainage with case studies from Blackhawk to the recent Gold King Disaster.

The Course 2 Field Component will follow California Gulch through abandoned mining areas near Leadville, look at changes in water, and inspect restoration efforts provided by the EPA in the late ‘80’s.

Programs will be led by Dr. Devin Castendyk who has over 25 years of experience studying the water chemistry of lakes, streams and groundwater in a wide range of environments, from pristine ice-covered lakes in Antarctica to acidic mine drainage in North America.  He holds a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and a Master of Science in Geology from the University of Utah and is a licensed Professional Geologist in the State of Wyoming.  From 2005 to 2015, Devin was an Associate Professor of Water Resources at the State University of New York at Oneonta (SUNY Oneonta) where he taught undergraduate students how to protect and restore water quality in watersheds and aquifers.  From 2014 to 2019, he brought over 100 students to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala to study water management and sustainability.  Devin relocated to Colorado in 2015.  Since that time, he has worked as an environmental consultant for several international engineering firms.  His primary work involves assisting the mining industry to minimize potential impacts on water quality.   He has published one book and over 50 journal articles on mine pit lakes; permanent water bodies that develop within open pit mines after mining concludes which have the potential to become long term issues for mining companies.  Devin currently works as a Senior Lead Consultant for WSP and is an Adjunct Professor at Colorado Mountain College, Salida.

Photo by Andrea Wilkerson

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