Adopt-A-Stream Volunteer Mentoring Program
© Danielle Hultlas
When you decide to become a stream
monitor, you join a special group of people who collect valuable
information about our local streams. Working with natural
resource agencies, volunteer monitors play a key role
in stream protection and stream stewardship. Monitoring
is also a great way of getting to know your special stream.
To gain a better understanding of
what is expected from the monitoring program and our volunteers
please review and print the Volunteer
Fact Sheet .
Our program utilizes the Georgia
Adopt-A-Stream protocols and methods of assessing
the water quality in a stream. Based on the type and diversity
of aquatic insects found in the stream, you will be able to
assess the ecological conditions. This is known as biological
monitoring and is recognized nationally as a reliable
indicator of water quality. Our program also includes basic
chemical monitoring, measuring water temperature,
conductivity, dissolved oxygen and pH.
Stormwater Management Department offers several types of workshops.
By attending an introductory workshop you
get a better understanding of the program. Indoor
workshops allow new and experienced monitors to gain
more practice with macroinvertebrate identification. Outdoor
workshops provide hands on training of the field
protocols and field identification.
The only way to learn is by practicing
and making mistakes. It is impossible to learn the bugs or
perform the chemical testing without investing some time into
the adventure. Once you feel ready, you can become a certified
monitor. The QA/QC Certification test is composed of procedural
knowledge, identification and an outdoor demonstration of
sampling. Quality Assurance certification is a part of every
chemical and biological workshop. The QA/QC certification
ensures that data collectors have met the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream
The requirements to become
QA/QC certified involve:
- Volunteers demonstrating the ability to collect a macroinvertebrate
sample to a certified Adopt-A- Stream trainer.
- Volunteers identifying, with 90% accuracy, no less than
20 macroinvertebrates and correctly calculate the water
- Volunteers QA/QC re-certifying annually.
- Volunteers sampling once every three months for one year
and send their results to Georgia Adopt-A-Stream.
- Volunteers’ methods and test kits must achieve
results within 10% of those obtained by a certified Adopt-A-Stream
- Volunteers QA/QC re-certified annually.
- Volunteers being good equipment managers and replacing
test kit reagents annually.
- Volunteers sampling once a month for one year and submit
their results to Georgia Adopt-A-Stream database
By following this criterion, we
can assure that the data collected is accurate, consistent,
reliable, and comparable.
commitment is composed of:
- Attending the initial workshop
- Getting QA/QC Certified (Required)
- Choosing your own site to monitor or choosing to assist
at established sites
- Monitoring your stream 4 times a year, once each season
or assisting at sites when you are available.
- Getting enough experience to feel comfortable through:
- other workshops,
- going out to monitor with experienced monitors,
- inviting experienced monitors to monitor with you
If you are interested in becoming
a volunteer monitor, contact the Henry
County Adopt-A-Stream Coordinator or visit Georgia
Adopt-A-Stream to review various workshop schedules.