As our volunteer lab coordinator this summer, Caleb Agyare assisted our watershed scientist in organizing a team of citizen scientists to collect stream samples and return them for analysis in the lab. He logged a total of 58.5 hours. His main job was to manage the stream samples collected at 72 sites in the Upper Raritan River watershed region from volunteers and then help conduct the tests for nitrate, phosphate and chloride in RHA’s lab at Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve in Bedminster, NJ.
In addition to assisting RHA with data collection and chemical analyses, he also helped enter the data into RHA’s database; updated the site descriptions of the 72 monitoring sites including location, property contact, and site photos. He completed a review of 4 years of stream benthic macroinvertebrate species data to identify stream sites where the invasive Asian clam has been detected, which were then reported to the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team.
Caleb’s work this summer is of significant value to our non-profit conservation organization. Our mission to provide clean safe water for all depends on the diligent, dedicated work of young leaders such as Caleb. He clearly understands and embraces the importance of the work that we do here at Raritan Headwaters. In his own words, “One of the aspects of studying environments and how they work that interests me most is how interconnected everything is when it comes to ecosystems. If many things are missing from that ecosystem, large or small, it can affect the whole system, sometimes in ways that we cannot see or know.”
“Our science staff and volunteers greatly enjoyed working with Caleb in the lab this summer. He certainly took his position seriously and was extremely thorough and reliable in ensuring the data we collected on our streams this summer were of the highest quality,” says Dr. Kristi MacDonald, RHA’s science director. “I think this was a great experience for him as he prepares for a future career in science.”
Caleb Agyare is from Randolph, NJ and attends the Morris School of Technology. He is studying biotechnology with an interest in pursuing a career in software development for a biotech or pharmaceutical company. Caleb is also a musician and plans to minor in music in college.