Water Quality Monitoring
| UVM Watershed Alliance monitoring programs first and foremost serve an educational role – they are designed to teach students about monitoring methods and equipment, to expose them to careers in science, to increase their knowledge and understanding of watershed health, and to develop a watershed stewardship ethic.
Our water quality monitoring programs focus more on qualitative results, not quantitative. Qualitative data can be very useful in identifying areas that need further study, tracking general trends, and raising awareness of the health of a body of water. Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) practices vary somewhat due to the variety of goals teachers have for the program (some emphasize monitoring results, and therefore QA/QC practices, to a greater extent while others emphasize experiential learning in the outdoors) and the prior experience students have with the sampling equipment and methods. While we make every effort to explain methods and equipment use in detail before their sampling date, this is not always feasible.Students in our programs monitor biological, physical, and chemical water quality parameters in a stream, river, or lake near their school using standard methods and equipment. Specifically, most groups monitor benthic macroinvertebrates, coliform bacteria, reactive phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and transparency, as well as complete a habitat assessment or physical survey of the site. For additional details on the methods and equipment used, please see the Methods and Equipment link at left.
Last modified November 22 2010 03:10 PM