Meet Antoinette White
Aurora Outreach Educator
Recent Monmouth College graduate Antoinette White is a welcome addition to our Fox River Monitoring Network. With a double major in environmental science and biology, and the recommendation of our veteran educator and Aurora Watershed Watchdog program leader Emily Dombrowski, we know her work with the students will be beneficial.
Antoinette says, “I want to help children get out into nature to find their love for nature so that they develop the same desire I have to protect it, care for it, and cherish it.”
Working with students to explore and learn more about the Fox River watershed helps them to develop a connection with it. When they have a hands-on experience like our Friends of the Fox River program they are able to build the connection. “I feel that my role is to guide them so that it is not only a learning experience but also a fun experience. When students have positive connections with the watershed they want to be caretakers of it. My favorite thing to do is watch them learn and experience the creeks and streams.”
We do various water quality tests with students in creeks and streams that feed into the Fox River. We look at chemical tests, such as those for dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrates and phosphates. These are
indicators that runoff is affecting the health of the stream.
We also look at the physical and biological traits of the stream. “Biological traits are my favorite because students are able to see that there is life in a creek. They often think that not much lives there, but when they find a crayfish or frog everyone gets so excited. It is awesome seeing them get excited about the creek and making the connections that the stream is home to these creatures.”
I also love creek walks, hiking along the Fox River, and canoeing down it.