Formal Education Programs School ProgramsEnvironmental Science on the Three Rivers

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Dear Partners in Education,

The RiverQuest Board of Directors has announced that the nonprofit is actively seeking to form a strategic partnership or merger with another agency to preserve its river-based education program.

Please check back for updates about future program availability. Thanks!


College Programs


Colleges and universities can charter a 2 or 3 hour sail or arrange for a specialized education program to enhance undergraduate and graduate courses, laboratories and research projects.


River Ecology Field Study

A three hour program, developed and presented by RiverQuest, introduces students to the inter-relationships of a river ecosystem. Through sampling, observation and analysis, students study water chemistry, plankton, macroinvertebrates, and native bird and fish species. This field expedition travels on one or more rivers, collecting and comparing results, from which students can draw their own conclusions.


Design your own field study

  • Bring your own experts/equipment
  • Set up research projects
  • Set course of travel
  • Select sampling sites
  • Select content concentration areas

The following disciplines lend themselves to study on the rivers. ECOLOGY — Use the river as a living lab as you sample and examine native flora and fauna. CHEMISTRY — Analyze river water from various sites and depths to study data relationships and trends. BIOLOGY — Replace a traditional biology lab with a three hour River Ecology Program. EDUCATION — Demonstrate an inquiry based, hands-on science program to teachers in training. ARCHITECTURE — Design a river tour to examine the changing Pittsburgh landscape. ENGINEERING — Apply engineering principles to a river or bridge study.



RiverQuest's floating classrooms are outfitted with scientific and other program equipment to facilitate learning and research. The program equipment includes, but is not limited to: compound and dissecting microscopes, video microscope, kemmerer, petite ponar bottom sampler, plankton net, sieve bucket, secchi disk, dissolved oxygen meter, turbidimeter, current meter, pH probe, Hach water quality testing kits, ID guides, binoculars, river charts, collection of preserved fish and macro-invertebrates. The boat is equipped with a depth sounder, radar, sound system, refrigerator, potable water sink, eye wash station, river water sinks & bathrooms, and standard 110 volt electrical supply. Field Study capacity and fee varies based on group size and duration of program.