GSU biology professor receives environmental grant

Dr. Waneene C. Dorsey, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences received a $197,000.00 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to fund the Grambling State University-Water Quality Resource Program.

WQRP is a comprehensive program that provides educational outreach programs, research, and training for K-12 science teachers, GSU biology and chemistry students, and faculty.

Water quality is the focus of the WQRP Program that targets a watershed of a six-parish area. The WQRP grant will support activities that involve water quality testing for heavy metals on lakes, rivers, and streams in Bienville, Claiborne, Ouachita, Jackson, Union and Webster Parishes.

Dr. Dorsey stated that "all citizens must become good environmental stewards." Therefore, water monitoring and the prediction of exposure to environmental contaminants are essential to ensure health and safety.

She also stated that "to initiate change, we need more students, science teachers, and scientists engaged in activities to increase knowledge related to outdoor water quality, to solve related problems, and to educate the public on the do’s and don’ts of water quality in their parishes.

The WQRP program will provide educational opportunities for K-12 science teachers in Bienville, Claiborne, Ouachita, Jackson, Union, and Webster Parishes. One of the highlights of the WQRP program is an on-line water resource management course for K-12 science teachers that will be offered doing the Spring 2007 academic semester. This course will be used as a vehicle to develop a water quality network for classroom learning and teaching.

Dr. Dorsey also commented that "Grambling State University is a readily accessible learning environment." The WQRP program will facilitate service training to K-12 science teachers around the first week of June 2007. The four day workshop will provide "hands-on" water monitoring for science teachers with the use of the water quality testing kits.

Other WQRP activities involve monitoring recreational and cultural surface water in the northern Louisiana watershed for levels of heavy metal contaminants and fecal contamination. The research component of the WQRP project will focus on toxicity testing of heavy metal contaminant exposure to aquatic life.

Student participants in the WQRP project will perform parallel water testing as a service to the Grambling State University and local community.

Dr. Dorsey is NTE certified for General Science and Biology in Secondary Education. She is very excited about training science teachers. Dr. Dorsey is highly published in international peer-review journals where she has done most her research in the molecular toxicology laboratory at Grambling State University.