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7 Reasons to Become a Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer

Posted in: Helpful, Spotlight- Apr 03, 2014 No Comments

Spring is in the air, the weather’s getting milder, and workshops are popping up like mushrooms . . . well-planned, educational mushrooms that give you food and free equipment.

Other than a solid excuse to get outdoors, monitoring streams is a rewarding act of citizen science. We’ve compiled some reasons to get involved. If you think of more, please leave us a comment at the bottom of the page!

1. For a few magic hours, you get to be a SCIENTIST.

DSCF0905Hey, life takes us on lots of turns. Maybe you’re an artist who enjoys seeing the seasons change. Maybe you’re an investment banker who had a blast as a kid playing with science kits. Maybe water quality monitoring is your job, but you love your job, so you just want to do more of it.

If you give Stream Team one or two weekends of your time, we will make you all into scientists. You will learn about macroinvertebrates (all the little bugs that call your favorite stream “home”), hydrology (the movement of water), water chemistry (how to identify pollutants), and physical monitoring (assessing the plants and pavement around your site). You can spread the knowledge (show off) to friends and family when you monitor, or even just as you hang out on a sandbar during your next float trip. But that’s not all…

2. You help screen for pollution problems.

missouri-department-of-natural-resources-dnrThe good folks at the Department of Natural Resources look over your data for immediate problems that need clarification or an environmental red flag that says they should send Regional Office staff to your stream right away. Usually the volunteer is contacted first to be sure that they are confident of their reading before contacting the Regional Office, and then may be put in touch with Regional Office staff in person if there are further questions.

Want more? Get the next five reasons on the original post at the Missouri Stream Team 25th Anniversary Blog.