Inside Moravian
e-Newsletter of the Moravian College Campus Community 9/24/13
David Siepietowski uses a backpack electrofisher generator to stun and study fish in the Cedar Creek with three female classmates.

ABOVE: David Siepietowski ’15 (second from right) studied the physical, chemical and biological sides of Cedar Creek during his SOAR project in summer 2013.


Student Spotlight – David Siepietowski ’15

Major/Minor: Environmental Science with a Chemistry Minor
Hometown: Boyertown, Pa.
Activities: A member of the football team and the Environmental Coalition
Future Plans: To attend graduate school and receive a master’s degree in a subject of environmental science

A few weeks before he strapped on shoulder pads and a helmet for the Moravian College football team this season, David Siepietowski ’15, a Greyhound defensive back, was knee-deep in a local stream “electrofishing” with a backpack electrofisher generator.

While he vaguely looked like an aquatic version of the Ghostbusters, David was stunning fish – humanely* – in the name of science and his SOAR project, which was titled “How Does Lake Muhlenberg Affect the Water Quality of the Cedar Creek.”

Working with advisor Frank Kuserk, Ph.D., professor of biology, David studied the physical, chemical and biological sides of Cedar Creek and investigated how Lake Muhlenberg might affect these aspects. The results showed that the lake is making Cedar Creek rise in temperature, and that the stream, when you examine its macroinvertebrates, has poor water quality.

For David, SOAR provided the training he sought to take his education to the next level. “I was motivated to participate in SOAR because I wanted field experience and I also wanted to build my resume up for graduate school,” he says.  

He plans to continue to work on his project, checking the temperature loggers and reading the temperature changes.

* According to online sources, when performed correctly, electrofishing results in no permanent harm to fish, which return to their natural state in as little as two minutes after being stunned.

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