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Meaningful Field Investigation


Virginia and other states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are working to make sure that all students learn more about the Chesapeake Bay through meaningful field experiences investigating water resources during their K-12 schooling. Students living within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and also those Virginians outside of the Bay Watershed will become better stewards of our rivers, groundwater, lakes and estuaries after learning how our actions impact water quality.


Meaningful field experiences are considered to have three separate components.
1. Advance planning (Preparation Phase)
2. Field work (Action Phase)
3. Analysis and communication of findings (Reflection Phase)


The preparation phase should focus on a question, problem, or issue and involve students in discussions about it. The project should require background research and student or team assignments as well as management and safety preparation.

The action phase should include one or more outdoor experiences sufficient to conduct the project, make the observations, or collect the data required. Students should be actively involved with the measurements, planning, or construction as safety guidelines permit.

The reflection phase should refocus on the question, problem, or issue; analyze the conclusions reached; evaluate the results; and assess the activity and the student learning.

Integrating World Water Monitoring into your curriculum can offer students a meaningful field investigation. As much as possible, these field investigations will be carried out locally, close to the school and even on the school site itself. Older students may extend projects as individual investigations.


The Chesapeake 2000 Agreement is intended to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The Chesapeake Bay is North America's largest and most biologically diverse estuary and home to more than 3,600 species of plants, fish, and animals. The Chesapeake 2000 Agreement was agreed to and signed by the leaders of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, as well as the directors of The Chesapeake Bay Commission and the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Chesapeake 2000 Agreement makes specific recommendations for achieving the overall goals of protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay. These recommendations involve participation of everyone in the Bay watershed including businesses, individuals, and schools.