Aquatic ecosystems : the Elbow river : an educational field study for Biology 20 students


Welcome to Aquatic Ecosystems: The Elbow River, a field study designed for Bio 20 students. This is a curriculum-connected full-day study of the Elbow River with multidisciplinary post-activity support. The intent of this program is to provide a hands-on, engaging outdoor component, which will meet the needs of Biology 20 Unit B: Ecosystems and Population Change. This program is also written to achieve the mandate of the Alberta Government - Tourism, Parks, and Recreation and also addresses the four program goals of preservation, outdoor recreation, heritage appreciation, and heritage tourism. The field study is designed to focus on testing and studying the abiotic and biotic factors of the aquatic ecosystem. Students are challenged to predict and then discover what the factors are indicating. Students will have the opportunity to monitor the Elbow River from the pristine waters of Cobble Flats in Kananaskis Country all the way to the City of Calgary. Traveling by bus, students will stop at key locations and test the water for dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, pH, turbidity, temperature, and aquatic invertebrates. They will also have an opportunity to observe and discuss complex land uses. Post program activities are intended to bring the program to a close for the students. Students will compile all the data collected during the field study and discuss reasons for any variations observed. Activities are prepared for students to explore a case study of invasive species in the Elbow River Watershed and consider how this might impact the aquatic ecosystem.

Biology 20 Ecological surveys Elbow River

Title and publication information

Alternative Title

Aquatic ecosystems : the Elbow River teacher's guide


56 pages



Publisher / Creator Information


Tourism, Parks, and Recreation (1992,2008-2014)

Place of Publication


Subject Information

Spatial Coverage

Elbow River

Resource Dates

Date Created


Date Added


Date Modified


Date Issued


Audience information


Usage / Licence


Contact Name

Environment and Parks