975 Indian Landing Road
Millersville, MD 21108
tel. 410-222-3822

This section is aimed at providing our teachers with information and resources to enhance their activities and lessons associated with environmental and outdoor education both in and out of the classroom.

MSDE Environmental Education – MDE’s education programs provide resources for classroom teachers, outdoor educators, club leaders, and others to teach students of all ages about our environment.

Bay Backpack – Learn some creative ways to integrate the Chesapeake Bay and environmental issues into your classroom lessons. Search through the Bay Backpack’s books, multimedia, curriculum guides, individual lesson plans and online data sources about the subjects you are teaching in class.

MAEOE’s How To: Native Plants  – Guide on choosing and finding native MD plants for your schoolyard habitat.

MAEOE MD Green Schools  – How to become a Maryland Green School.

Project WET Curriculum Alignments (Elementary) – Once certified in Project WET, consult this guide to incorporate the environmental lessons without needing to extend beyond the existing curriculum.  To learn more about Project WET, visit www.projectwet.org.

Anne Arundel County Parks and Trails – Use this site to locate a listing of regional and community parks, trails and natural areas.

Anne Arundel County GIS Data Download – Site where a series of data layers collected from various departments throughout the county are available for download. These layers are posted for free and updated per the date listed as new information becomes available.

Aquatic Invasive Species Education Project – Aquatic Invasive Species Education trunk available on loan to Maryland educators! 

Maryland State Data Center (Department of Planning) – The MD Department of Planning has completed a set of projections for total and household population, households and household size, labor force, jobs by place of work, total and per capita personal income thru 2040.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Population statistics, teacher lessons and resources. This package of resources and lesson plans was developed to support social studies and science teachers in integrating these topics within the regular curriculum. Government, policy and planning, economics, geography, and a myriad of environmental issues are encompassed with the Sustainability and Smart Growth concept, and provides a rich source of topics for classroom investigations.

Maryland Biodiversity Project – Maryland Biodiversity Project is cataloging all the living things of Maryland. The goal is to promote eduication and conservation by helping to build a vibrant Maryland nature study community.

Maryland Sea Grant: Biofilms and Biodiversity – Biofilms are a hot topic in microbiology today. Scientists are studying the ways bacterial colonies form slimy layers, which can be resistant to antibiotics and the immune system, in hopes that new information will help us understand how the layers form, adhere to surfaces, and how they can be prevented.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center – SERC’s education department is committed to instilling environmental literacy by broadening society’s understanding of the natural world using SERC’s research findings as a foundational resource for public programs and STEM challenges that convey how human activities alter atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic ecosystems ona  regional and global scale.

USDA National Invasive Species Information Center – Gateway to invasice species information; covering federal, state, local and international sources.

USDA links of impacts of invasive species

Field Trip Opportunities:

Jug Bay Wetlands Sactuary

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Field Programs

Living Classrooms Foundation

Environmental Education State and National News:

Children in Nature  – MD Department of Natural Resources partnership

No Child Left Inside – Coalition dedicated to provide funding to train teachers to deliver high quality Environmental Education and utilize the local environment as an extension of the classroom.


AACPS Teacher Professional Development: Sign up for workshops to build your knowledge and skills in environmental and outdoor education.

AACPS ERO Master Calendar Sign-In

Water Quality Monitoring at Arlington Echo

During the fourth grade Arlington Echo outdoor education experience, students engage in lessons and activities at our campus on the Indian Creek, which is a small tributary of the Severn River. These activities include seining to look for fish and other organisms in Indian Creek, using plankton tows and microscopes to identify microorganisms living in the water, and taking water quality measurements to determine the health of Indian Creek.

In the fall of 2016 we began recording our water quality measurements to monitor the health of the Indian Creek and track changes over time. The map below shows our monitoring site location, and the graphs display our current data, collected in Spring 2018. Older data can be found in our archived data section.

Water quality measurements taken include:

  • Temperature – how warm or cold the water is; measured in degrees Fahrenheit using a floating thermometer. Though the water temperature naturally fluctuates throughout the season, animals depend on relatively consistent water temperatures during certain times of the year. In Indian Creek, the average water temperature ranges from about 38 degrees Fahrenheit in mid-January up to about 85 degrees in mid-July. Temperature shares a direct relationship with dissolved oxygen levels in the water, because colder water holds more oxygen than does warmer water. Additionally, stormwater runoff from paved surfaces like sidewalks and roads enters the waterways at a higher temperature than runoff that soaks in through pervious surfaces, increasing the overall water temperature.
  • Salinity – the amount of salt dissolved in the water; measured in parts per thousand (ppt) using a handheld salinity meter. Different plants and organisms require certain salinity levels for survival and reproduction, and generally cannot survive through drastic fluctuations in salinity. Salinity can be affected by runoff, particularly in the winter when roads are salted and that salt gets washed into nearby rivers and streams. Rainfall also affects salinity; precipitation events add more fresh water to waterways, leading to a lower salinity, while the dry season can lead to more evaporation and thus a higher salinity. Ocean water has a salinity of about 35 ppt, while the Chesapeake Bay averages a salinity around 15 ppt. Inland freshwater rivers and streams have a salinity close to 0 ppt. The Indian Creek is brackish, meaning that it is a mixture of fresh and saltwater, and generally has a salinity range of about 3 – 10 ppt, depending on the season.
  • Turbidity – the amount of suspended sediment in the water; measured in centimeters of water depth using a turbidity tube. Ideal conditions for animals and plants in the water occur when turbidity is low and clarity is high. Low turbidity allows animals to more easily see through the water and use their gills to absorb oxygen, and allows for plants to receive sunlight, which they need to survive and provide oxygen and habitat for other living things. Turbidity increases after heavy rainstorms when runoff washes eroded soil into waterways. High turbidity can also result from excess bacteria or algae in the water.
  • Dissolved Oxygen – the amount of available oxygen dissolved in the water; measured in parts per million (ppm) using dissolved oxygen tablets. Oxygen is vital for life to survive in the water. Most species that live in Indian Creek are able to survive and reproduce successfully when dissolved oxygen levels are at or above 5ppm, though some species are more tolerant to low oxygen levels than others. Dissolved oxygen levels can be affected by water temperature, because colder water holds more oxygen than warmer water, and by the presence of plant life in the water, because plants emit oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. In addition, algal blooms caused by runoff of excess nutrients from fertilizer, animal waste, or septic systems can result in a loss of oxygen, known as a “dead zone,” as algae blocks underwater plants from getting sunlight for photosynthesis and as bacteria use up all available oxygen in the water when decomposing the algae.

Temperature Spring 2018

 Salinity Spring 2018

 Turbidity Spring 2018


Monitoring Site Location:

Water Quality Monitoring Site Location

Archived Water Quality Data:


All data and content on this website are property of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Please credit Anne Arundel County Public Schools and Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center when citing or using data and content for any purpose.

All data are offered for educational purposes only. Data presented are provisional, subject to later correction, and have not undergone full quality control procedures. Missing data may result from equipment malfunctions or the rejection of ‘bad’ data during review.

Data are gathered by students with the help of adult volunteers, teachers, and Arlington Echo staff. In some circumstances, including extreme weather, students do not go out to test water quality. This may result in some inconsistencies in the reporting and/or content of the data.


Become a Maryland Green School!

The Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE) offers the Maryland Green School Awards Program to all Maryland public and private schools, as well as environmental centers serving Maryland schools. Schools that achieve Green School certification have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to environmental education, environmental action and community outreach.

MAEOE Green Schools & Green Centers

Current AACPS Green Schools List


What are the benefits of becoming a Green School?

  • According to studies, students whose learning is connected to their environment do better in school.
  • Working with the environment is a great way to integrate all academic disciplines.
  • Achieving Green School status makes your school and community proud! Get the Green School flag to fly over your school!
  • The process is engaging and fun for everyone!

Contact Katy Clemes Kclemes@aacps.org 




// Weight
$db = JFactory::getDbo();
$query = $db->getQuery(true);

$all_weights = $db->loadColumn();
$array_count = count($all_weights);

$total_weight = 0;
for ($i=0; $i<=$array_count; $i++) {
$total_weight = $all_weights[$i] + $total_weight;

$group_average_weight = $total_weight / $array_count;

// Carapace Length

$query = $db->getQuery(true);

$all_carapace_lengths = $db->loadColumn();

$group_average_carapace_length = array_sum($all_carapace_lengths) / count($all_carapace_lengths);

// Carapace Width

$query = $db->getQuery(true);

$all_carapace_widths = $db->loadColumn();

$group_average_carapace_width = array_sum($all_carapace_widths) / count($all_carapace_widths);

// Plastron Length

$query = $db->getQuery(true);

$all_plastron_lengths = $db->loadColumn();

$group_average_plastron_length = array_sum($all_plastron_lengths) / count($all_plastron_lengths);

// Shell Height

$query = $db->getQuery(true);

$all_shell_heights = $db->loadColumn();

$group_average_shell_height = array_sum($all_shell_heights) / count($all_shell_heights);


Statistics for All Terrapins

Total Number of Records {source}<?php echo $array_count; ?>{/source} measurments
Average Weight {source}<?php echo round($group_average_weight,2); ?>{/source} grams
Maximum Weight {source}<?php echo round(max($all_weights),2); ?>{/source} grams
Minimum Weight {source}<?php echo round(min($all_weights),2); ?>{/source} grams
Average Carpace Length  {source}<?php echo round($group_average_carapace_length,2); ?>{/source} cm
Maximum Carapace Length  {source}<?php echo round(max($all_carapace_lengths),2); ?>{/source} cm
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Average Carapace Width  {source}<?php echo round($group_average_carapace_width,2); ?>{/source} cm
Maximum Carapace Width  {source}<?php echo round(max($all_carapace_widths),2); ?>{/source} cm
Minimum Carapace Width  {source}<?php echo round(min($all_carapace_widths),2); ?>{/source} cm
Average Plastron Length  {source}<?php echo round($group_average_plastron_length,2); ?>{/source} cm
Maximum Plastron Length  {source}<?php echo round(max($all_plastron_lengths),2); ?>{/source} cm
Minimum Plastron Length  {source}<?php echo round(min($all_plastron_lengths),2); ?>{/source} cm
Average Shell Height  {source}<?php echo round($group_average_shell_height,2); ?>{/source} cm
Maximum Shell Height  {source}<?php echo round(max($all_shell_heights),2); ?>{/source} cm
Minimum Shell Height  {source}<?php echo round(min($all_shell_heights),2); ?>{/source} cm

Why We Collect Data

T.E.R.P. (Terrapin Education and Research Partnership) is an authentic data-driven research project conducted in partnership with Dr. Willem Roosenburg of Ohio University and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Participating classrooms are required to collect weekly growth data on their classroom terrapins and submit their last weekly measurement as their “monthly” measurements. Growth data is extremely important, not only as an important scientific process for your students, but also helps us analyze growth trends and identify potential health issues. We are also required to submit growth data as a condition of our Maryland Department of Natural Resources Scientific Collection Permit.


T.E.R.P. Teachers can submit and access their data through the TERP Brightspace page.

{tab=1. Enter New Terrapin}

{module Enter New Terrapin}

{module Your Terrapins}

{tab=2. Enter Terrapin Data}

{module Enter Terrapin Data}

{tab=2. View Recorded Data}

{module Terrapin Data Entries}


Anne Arundel County Public Schools

ERO Master Calendar Sign-In  –  schedule for upcoming professional development for AACPS teachers. Sign up for workshops, and classes to further enhance your knowledge!

Sign up for the Arlington Echo Initiative and Confidence certification course!
This workshop will provide the necessary certification required to use the Initiative and Confidence Course that is located at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. The Initiative and Confidence Course is designed to develop teamwork and cooperation while promoting risk taking, responsibility, and respect through participation in physically challenging activities and a low-level obstacle course.

MAEOE Conference  –  Once a year conference open to educators interested in environmental and outdoor education.

MAEOE Calendar  – All MAEOE sponsored workshops and events.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Calendar  – CBF Calendar of events and workshops available.