Research Webinar: Methodology Matters - Modifying the Vermont Lay Monitoring Program to Improve Lake Assessment

In this research webinar, Mark Mitchell explains the Vermont Lay Monitoring Program (LMP). The Vermont LMP trains and equips volunteers (or Lay Monitors) to conduct periodic lake water quality sampling from their boat using quality-assured methods. Since the program's inception in 1979, the principal goals have remained the same: to establish baseline water quality conditions; to track long-term nutrient enrichment and assess monitoring data following Vermont Water Quality Standards; and to teach lakeshore homeowners and lake users about lake ecology and stewardship.

Mark is the Lake Monitoring and Community Outreach Coordinator for Lake Champlain Sea Grant, in partnership with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). He earned a bachelor's degree in forestry from Virginia Tech in 2002 and a master's degree in Limnology at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland in 2008. He began working seasonally with the Vermont DEC Lakes Program in 2009 and permanently in 2015, with experience in monitoring, assessment, and permitting. In 2020, Mark worked as a water quality scientist with Horizons Regional Council in New Zealand’s North Island, and he returned to Burlington, Vermont in 2021.