In 2012, 4-VA at JMU awarded Dr. Christine May $5,000 and 4-VA at UVA provided $15,000 for a grant called Virginia Trout Streams Research Collaboration to conduct Mountain Stream Symposium II, a one-day seminar held 10 years after UVA hosted the original Mountain Stream Symposium. The conference brought together scientists, agency representatives, policy makers and educators to provide a state-of-the-science update on mountain stream ecosystems in the central Appalachians and to formalize a research partnership focused on Virginia trout streams.
It was at the symposium that Dr. May first met Dr. Todd Scanlon from UVA. Then in 2015, 4-VA awarded Dr. May $4,900 to work with Dr. Scanlon and Ami Riscassi on a grant called Revealing the current relation between stream acidification and fish species richness: What is the trend after almost two decades of recovery?
The project launched a collaboration between UVA’s long-term water quality monitoring program and JMU’s Department of Biology with the initial research effort assessing current status and trends in the biological health of watersheds in Shenandoah National Park. This information will aid decision makers at the local, state and federal level by providing valuable insight into the recovery trends of highly valued aquatic resources that have been impaired by acid rain.
Partnering with the Shenandoah Watershed Study & Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Study (SWAS-VTSSS) was an ideal opportunity for JMU to collaborate on a local and high-profile research endeavor with UVA at Shenandoah National Park. In addition to presentations and publishing the research, the team is also in the process of developing a teaching case-study for a quantitative ecology publication.