Joseph Hoberg


Undergraduate Student


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Honorable Mention

Creation Date

Spring 2023


This is an image of Sugar Creek, a perennial low order urban stream in the Mackinaw River watershed. Sugar Creek is sickened with urban stream syndrome - a severe disease of streams that is symptomatic of deficiencies in ecosystem, chemical pollution, and biological processes. Urban stream syndrome is caused by urbanization and increased introduction of anthropogenic pollutants into the water ways. To combat urban stream syndrome, we depend on water treatment plants to maintain water quality. Upstream from the location of this photo, the Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District releases biochemically treated water back into the stream. How do we know these treatments are working? Bugs can tell us. Insect populations are surprisingly strong indicators of stream water health. My research assesses the populations of these macroinvertebrate species in several streams in Normal to assess water-quality health.