News Archive


CUMBERLAND, Ky. Several Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) and faculty members joined others from across Kentucky on Saturday, September 10th to take part in a project that could have long range implications on water quality in our region.

As part of the Big Dip Redux, (the 10th anniversary of the Big Dip which sampled more than one thousand sites in Southeastern Kentucky) 19 volunteers from Southeast joined together with Hazard Community and Technical College, Eastern Kentucky University, Pathfinders Inc. from Perry County, AmeriCorps VISTA and Letcher Countys Headwaters Inc. to test the water quality in streams across the area. Volunteers sampled water for acidity, conductivity, turbidity, temperature and flow.

The results of the testing, which started as part of the original Big Dip back in 2006 and 2007, will be studied by biology, math and English students at the three educational institutions in order to compare the results to the earlier testing and to be able to pass that information along to the community citizens in a variety of formats as part of a cross-curriculum effort to integrate traditional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects with the Arts, History, Sociology and Creative Writing subjects.

The event, part of the larger KCTCS Service Learning Initiative and a National Day of Service project, also served to help students further develop their soft skills and increase student success.

Dr. Matt Druen, a Southeast Biology Instructor and Lead Coordinator of the efforts on the Cumberland Campus, conducted early morning training for volunteers. When given the opportunity, many students are eager to participate in community volunteerism. said Druen.

At the end of the sampling day, volunteers were treated to food amp; beverages on the Cumberland campus sponsored by Cumberland City Tourism and Cumberland Pizza Hut. To learn more about the ongoing volunteer opportunities for citizens to become certified to monitor our streams and rivers, contact Dr. Matt Druen ( Also, check out radio station WMMT and listen to the podcast on Kentucky Watershed Watch with Dr. Druen and Professor Jenny Williams of Hazard Kentucky Community amp; Technical College.