Archive for the ‘streams’ tag

What’s in your water?

By October 3rd, 2017 at 8:05 am | Comment

World Water Monitoring
World Water Monitoring
Our dependency on clean water is something we all have in common.
In celebration of the Clean Water Act’s 45th anniversary (October 18), we’ve selected six citizen science opportunities to monitor the vitality of water near you.
Find more citizen science projects on SciStarter’s Project Finder.
The SciStarter Team

North Carolina King Tides Project

North Carolina King Tides Project
Grab your camera and document flood events throughout North Carolina. Your photos help communities understand vulnerabilities to coastal flooding and inform community planning.
Location: North Carolina, United States

Creek Freaks: Engaging Youth in Water Quality

Middle school students around the globe are the experts on their local streams and creeks. Enlist your kids and monitor the quality of creeks and streams near you.
Location: Global

CitClops/Eye on Water

Monitoring the quality of the water in our oceans is a big job, especially when that water is constantly moving and changing. Using the Eye on Water app from the CitClops project, you can do your part by collecting information about water color, clarity and fluorescence of oceans around the world.
Location: Global

Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program

Looking for a reason to get out on the lake? Michigan’s Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program is the second oldest lake monitoring program in the country.  Document changes in lake quality and share your observations with scientists.
Location: Michigan, US

Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program

Live in Michigan? Help keep tabs on the streams in your community. MiCorps’ Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program (VSMP) provides technical assistance, training, and grants to volunteer stream monitors to ensure the collection of reliable, high-quality data.
Location: Michigan, US

FLOW Program

Amigos de Bolsas
Head to the beach with the Follow and Learn about the Ocean and Wetland (FLOW) program! You’ll learn about coastal ecology, participate in the collection of scientific data and get involved in environmental quality monitoring. You might also get a little sand in your shoes.
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Discover more summertime citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Wisconsin’s Water Action Volunteers – Making Waves for Action [GUEST POST]

By September 22nd, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Comment

Monitor the quality and quantity of Wisconsin’s streams with Water Action Volunteers.

Interested in water monitoring projects? We’ve got you covered!


A Water Action Volunteer checking a local stream.

A Water Action Volunteer checking a local stream.

Human uses of the land impact the quality and quantity of waters in local streams, which in turn, can affect our recreational activities such as fishing, boating and swimming, and our drinking water quality. If we understand where, how and to what extent our streams are impacted, we can take steps to protect and improve them.

Citizen scientists in Wisconsin’s Water Action Volunteers (WAV) program assess the quality and quantity of water in their local streams. Their monitoring helps natural resource professionals understand the extent of non-point pollution in the state. Non-point pollution comes from sources across the landscape and is the primary source of pollution in Wisconsin’s (and our nation’s) waters. It includes sediment and nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which enter streams from agricultural and urban lands. Volunteer monitors also help track streamflow over time, since urban and agricultural land uses can significantly increase or decrease flows. For example, in urban areas, increased impervious surfaces result in less infiltration of rainwater into the ground and change baseflows and stormwater runoff. Also, where there is groundwater pumping, streamflow can be drastically reduced, which can endanger fish and other aquatic life.

WAV, sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, has three levels of participation: Introductory; Status and Trends; and Special Projects Monitoring. Anyone interested in learning more about his or her local stream is encouraged to participate. Although methods are targeted towards adults and middle and high school students, younger children can participate in many of the activities with assistance. Everyone must begin with introductory monitoring unless they have previous experience. Each spring, trainings are held in various locations in Wisconsin for new volunteers to learn monitoring methods. The time commitment is one hour per month from May through October for Introductory and Status and Trends monitoring, while the time commitment varies for adults who participate in Special Project Monitoring. Some Special Project volunteers monitor for just a few minutes per month to assess phosphorus. Others monitor year around, sometimes several times per month, to assess impacts of road salting on streams. Those interested in joining WAV can visit the program website to find contacts and a calendar of upcoming events.

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Get Your Feet Wet on World Water Monitoring Day!

By September 14th, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Comment 1


On September 18, 2011, people around the world will be taking a closer look at their local waterways during World Water Monitoring Day. Join in the project and help figure out whether the freshwater near you is clean.

Clean freshwater is an important resource for people. It keeps ecosystems healthy too. The water flowing through a small stream leads into larger rivers and lakes. All that water flows downhill together. It’s all connected in a watershed. Understanding the health of our watersheds is critical to understanding whether people, animals, and plants are getting the clean water they need. Volunteers with the World Water Monitoring Day seek to make measurements of freshwater to identify the health of the world’s watersheds.

Using a test kit, volunteers figure out what’s in their water. They measure the temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity), and dissolved oxygen (DO) of water and then report the findings online. The test kit costs $13 plus shipping, or you can use your own water monitoring equipment if you’d like. There are kits available at no charge for participants from low and middle-income countries thanks to support of sponsors. Test kit instructions are available in 17 languages.

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Citizen scientists in the Wisconsin wilds

By October 8th, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Comment

Help citizen scientists keep track of the critters in Wisconsin!  Photo: Wisconsin NatureMapping

Help citizen scientists keep track of the critters in Wisconsin! Photo: Wisconsin NatureMapping

Deep in the heart of Wisconsin is a nature lover’s dream destination – the Beaver Creek Reserve. With a citizen science center, butterfly house, nature center, observatory, field research station, summer camp, and miles of trails to explore, there’s something for everyone to get excited about. We recently spoke with Sarah Braun, Citizen Science Director at the Reserve, about this amazing facility and its helpers.

Said Braun, “The most exciting part of working at Beaver Creek Reserve is meeting and working with our diverse cadre of volunteers. Many of our volunteers are retired and held previous careers in the Marine Corps, US Postal Service, environmental consulting agencies, insurance, banking, marketing, engineering, and teaching. The volunteers have a lot to offer and I learn from them every day.”

During a typical year, approximately 200 volunteers put in about 3,000 total hours at the Citizen Science Center (in addition to the approximately 1,000 volunteers that work at BCR as a whole). Staff at the Reserve also conduct outreach programs in nearby counties. As it turns out, Citizen Science Center volunteers even show up at unexpected times to help. Braun told us about a memorable day out on the lake sampling for aquatic invertebrates. After their small hand-held dredge and the backup dredge broke, the samplers motored over to a hardware store at a nearby boat landing. As it turned out one of the workers was a Beaver Creek volunteer who proceeded, with some creativity, to get both dredges working again. As Braun cheerfully recalled, “It was an unorthodox kind of day, but it worked out great!”

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