San Dieguito River Valley ConservancySan Dieguito
River Valley Conservancy

Watershed Explorers

Lake Hodges


Led by the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, students learn about the  importance of Lake Hodges and the surrounding area to local wildlife and  overall watershed vitality and health. They are introduced to wildlife monitoring  and survey techniques and become citizen scientists for the day collecting  valuable data for the San Dieguito Citizen Science Monitoring Program. Students  then split into teams to look for animal tracks & scat, search for reptiles &  amphibians, look and listen for birds, and test the quality of the water collected  in the reservoir.


Students will:

  • learn about the importance of Lake Hodges and the surrounding area to wildlife, and overall watershed vitality and health;
  • be introduced to scientific surveys being conducted within the San Dieguito watershed and become citizen scientists for the day collecting valuable data for the River Park; and
  • get hands-on experience with mammal tracking, reptile & amphibian surveys, identifying birds, and testing water quality.

California Performance Expectations & Dimensions 

Note: This program can assist with meeting the following Performance  Expectations and Dimensions from California’s Next Generation Science  Standards (NGSS). 

Grade 5: 5-PS3-1; 5-LS1-1; 5-LS2-1; 5-ESS2-1; 5-ESS2-2; 5-ESS3-1. 

Grades 6-8: MS-LS1-3; MS-LS1-4; MS-LS1-5; MS-LS1-6; MS-LS1-7; MS-LS1-8; MS-LS2-1;  S-LS2-2; MS-LS2-3; MS-LS2-4; MS-LS2-5; MS-ESS2-1; MS-ESS2-2; MS-ESS2-3; MS-ESS2-4;  MS-ESS2-5; MS-ESS2-6; MS-ESS3-1; MS-ESS3-2; MS-ESS3-3; MS-ESS3-4MS-ESS3-5. 

Grades 9-12: HS-LS2-1; HS-LS2-2; HS-LS2-6; HS-LS2-7; HS-LS2-8; HS-LS4-6; HS-ESS1-5;  HS-ESS1-6; HS-ESS2-1; HS-ESS2-2; HS-ESS2-3; HS-ESS2-4; HS-ESS2-5; HS-ESS2-6; HS ESS2-7; HS-ESS3-1; HS-ESS3-2; HS-ESS3-3; HS-ESS3-4; HS-ESS3-5; HS-ESS3-6.


Made possible by a grant from The San Diego Foundation

Material compiled by:

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy

The San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority

The Volcan Mountain Foundation

San Diego Archaeological Center

Material generously contributed by:

The Nature Collective 

Free Course

Grade Level: 5, 6-8, 9-12

Subject Areas: Science, Lagoons

Setting: Lake Hodges