The Dunes Center partnered with the United Way of Santa Barbara in 2011 to implement United Way’s well regarded Fun In The Sun program.  The 2011 program met at the Dunes Center Visitor’s Center in Guadalupe, CA.  Program elements included: lessons discussing the chemistry of water quality and soil quality, and various field trips to discover options of treating wastewater, renewable energy, estuary habitats and water recreation.

This summer the program focused their service learning project on water quality and sharing the information of local water sources with the Guadalupe Community.  The creation of a brochure with the results of testing pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), total dissolved solids (TDS), nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) levels and turbidity would attempt to show the cleanliness of the water samples based on these levels.

The main purpose of the collection of this data was to present it to concerned members of the community of Guadalupe and local environmental groups. The goal of the Guadalupe Service Learning project was to collect local water samples and test for pH, dissolved oxygen, total dissolve solids, nitrates, phosphates and turbidity.  With the results, we were able to hypothesize what types of pollutants are in the water and what the possible sources of the pollutants might be. The students also counted the types of animals spotted near the collection site.

The FITS video project was a new addition to the FITS program and the final product can be viewed online at the Dunes Center’s website at www.dunescenter.org .  Students worked with Sergio Galindo of La Cumbre Junior High School for several hours on Tuesday afternoons.  Sergio taught them the basics of story boarding, production, editing and post production.  Early closure of the program at week four was due to low enrollment.

In order to present our results to the public, the students compiled the data into a brochure that was given to our partners. The brochure includes their results, summary of their project and possible changes that would help the local water quality. Brochures are available in the Dunes Center’s Visitor’s Center so visitors would be able to read about their project and research and are also available online at www.dunescenter.org .