Cedar Creek Project


Project Coordinators:

Dr. Steven J. Rosscoe (Geology, Environmental Science, Environmental Management)

Dr. Michelle Dose (Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Management)


Project Goals:


To develop an understanding of the Cedar Creek watershed

         • It contributes water to Lake Fort Phantom Hill via Elm Creek and therefore affects the quality of water drawn for the Abilene public water supply.

     • Its presence is marked by a number of public parks throughout the City of Abilene.

            • Numerous and diverse ecological habitats are present along its length.

            • It crosses and erodes through a variety of soil types and geologic rock formations.


To develop an understanding of the effect of humans on this important stream system.

            • Issues related to point source pollution (if identified).

            • Issues related to agricultural runoff.

            • Issues related to storm water runoff.


To make recommendations and suggest local changes that may benefit the stream system and the populations (human and animal) that depend on it.

            • Reduction of the human influence.

            • Stream and wetland management to enhance water quality.


Develop a research program that allows students in the sciences to take on a variety of independent research projects.

            • Prepare students for research in their field (graduate school or work force).

            • Give students an opportunity to conduct real research.

            • Provide students an opportunity to publish and present results.


Current Research:


Base Flow

            • Characterize the chemical properties of the stream waters in the Cedar Creek watershed under normal conditions.

            • Collections occurred in January and April of 2011 (prior to onset of drought).


Effects of Extreme Drought on Large Impounded Lakes

            • Characterize the changes to lake chemistry and lake health during the exceptional drought of 2011.

            • Show the effects of large rain events over short time periods on the chemistry of local lakes as they recover from the exceptional drought of 2011.


Future Research:


Geological and soil characteristics of the Cedar Creek Watershed.

Biological inventory of the Cedar Creek Watershed (involvement of HSU Biology is in development).

Long-term changes to the Cedar Creek Watershed.

Recognition, characterization, and recommendations for pollution issues within the Cedar Creek watershed.


Student Involvement:


Spring 2011 – Brian Odom (CHEM) chemical testing of base flow water samples.

Fall 2011  - GEOL 4099A – Watershed Survey and Assessment

            • Kiva Harris (GEOL) – Observations/chemical survey of Zoo Lake 2 (8-10 week study)

            • Aislinn Hendrix (GEOL) – Observations/chemical survey of Zoo Lake 1.5 (8-10 week study)

            • Joe Quick (ENVS) – Observations/chemical survey of Cal Young Park, Lytle Creek (8-10 week study)

            • Jay Shelton (GEOL) – Observations/chemical survey of Lake Fort Phantom Hill (8-10 week study)

            • Lauren Turman (GEOL) – Observations/chemical survey of Zoo Lake 1 (8-10 week study)

            • Cruz Valdez (ENVS) – Observations/chemical survey of Kirby Lake (8-10 week study)