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Volunteer Monitoring

Resources for Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring

List Services for Discussion and Support

A LISTSERV allows a group of people have discussions through email without having to address email to each person on the email list. Everyone who is interested in the topic of the mailing list server can be added to the list, and will automatically receive emails posted to the list by other list users. If you reply to an email message that is posted to the list, your reply will go only to the original sender of the message. You can subscribe to or unsubscribe from a list server at any time, so if you think you might be interested in joining, and later find this is not the list for you, it's simple to remove yourself from the list.

1. Extension Volunteer Monitoring Network
The University of Vermont-Extension maintains a LISTSERV to exchange information with water quality and monitoring program coordinators. To join or unsubscribe from this email list service, use the form at the link above. They also have an extensive archive of select interactions to help ensure that the knowledge shared through them can reach as wide an audience as possible.

2. Citizen Science Association
Sign up for CSA Listserv



Interested in volunteer monitoring? The National Volunteer Monitoring newsletter may meet your interests. It covers a wide variety of topis, ranging from Algae to Zebra Mussels. Check out the newsletter site by clicking on the image below.

Link to past and present issues of The Volunteer Monitor Past and current issues of The Volunteer Monitor

Guides for Establishing Your Own Volunteer Monitoring ProgramPDF icon

These resources will help ANY Volunteer Monitoring Program and serve as quick guides for specific program areas. The Extension Volunteer Monitoring Network has created a comprehensive support system for Extension volunteer water quality monitoring and citizen science efforts across the country. The goal is to expand and strengthen the capacity of the existing Extension Volunteer Monitoring Network and to support development of new programs. The PDF's are downloadable here (see below) or at www.volunteermonitoring.org along with other resources.

  1. Getting Started
  2. Designing Your Monitoring Strategy
  3. Monitoring Matrix
  4. Effective Training
  5. Monitoring Equipment Suppliers
  6. Building Credibility
  7. Volunteer Management
  8. Planning Your Program's Data Management System
  9. Tips and Tools for Effective Presentations
  10. Outreach Tools
  11. Evaluating Your Program

Suggested VM ArticlesPDF icon

If you have an original article or another idea to share, please E-mail Barb Horn with the working link. Interested in reading more? Here are some articles that you may find interesting and useful.

Article Title Author(s)
Volunteer Monitoring News edited by NWQMC
Adaptive Management and Social Learning in Collaborative and Community-Based Monitoring Fernandez-Gimenez, Ballard, and Sturtevant
CrowdHydrology Sources Water Level Data From Public's Text Messages Daniel Kelly
Evaluating Your Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program Kushner and others
Citizen Scientists Monitor Stream Quality with iPhone App Sara Matthews
Water Data and Monitoring as Indispensable Tools to Manage Water Quality G. Tracy Mehan


EPA Citizen Science Quality Assurance and Documentation


Links for National Resources

American Water Keepers Alliance
a global movement of on-the-water advocates that keeps Waterkeepers connected, provides them with legal, scientific and communications support, and unites their voices
Center for Watershed Protection
an organization that works to protect, restore, and enhance our water resources by creating viable solutions and partnerships for responsible land and water management
Citizen Science Association
a membership organization interested in public participation in scientific research
Earth Force
a partnership organization working to transform how communities educate and engage young people around environment issues
EPA Volunteer Monitoring Website
a federal program providing resources to support volunteer monitoring of your water resources
Extension Volunteer Monitoring Network
a National water-resources support system with resources for Extension (and non-Extension) volunteer water-quality monitoring and citizen science efforts across the country
Izaac Walton League
a grass-roots conservation organization working towards protecting our country's natural heritage and improving outdoor recreation opportunities
iPhone App to Monitor Stream Water Quality
Creekwatch, developed by IBM, is available for the Apple iPhone via the App Store. See Sara Matthews article above or through this link
Leaf Pack Network
Did you know that leaves that fall into streams form natural leaf packs that provide food for aquatic organisms? Join the network of teachers and students investigating stream ecosystems, or get the manual here.
NALMS, North American Lake Management Society
a society to forge partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs
NWQMC, National Water Quality Monitoring Council
a council that provides a national forum for coordination of comparable and scientifically defensible methods and strategies to improve water-quality monitoring, assessment and reporting, and promotes partnerships to foster collaboration, advance the science, and improve management within all elements of the water-quality monitoring community
River Network
a National watershed protection movement of grassroots organizations whose primary mission is to protect rivers and watersheds
USDA-NIFA Water Related Job Postings
a job board to find water resource employment opportunities in the U.S.
World Water Monitoring Day
World WaterMonitoring Challenge™ is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies

Links for Regional & Local Resources

Other Links of Interest

Citizen Science Central
Citizen Science Community Forum
(Status: closed 2012) Topic: What tools and technologies are powering new frontiers for your citizen science projects?

Citizen Science with Computer and Mobile Device Applications

Resource Name Source
CrowdHydrology: If you happen to be passing by....send a text message of the gage value if you see a stream gage with a sign to asking you to text message the value from your phone USGS
Creek Watch for Trash and Flow: Snap a picture. Save a stream. Use the iPhone app, or you can explore your watershed here. IBM
Fredrick County Healthy Streams: A way for Frederick County, Maryland citizens to help clean their streams - adopt an area and provide info about pollution sources via an app Friends of Frederick County
Snowtweets Project: Contribute to real-time snow and ice research by tweeting your area's snow depths University of Waterloo, Canada
Rain Garden App: For either iTunes or Android, this app helps you design, intall, and maintain a rain garden Connecticut Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials
Recr8OhioRiver App: Both an interactive website map and iTunes or Android app with timely info to help recreational users of Ohio River make informed decisions about health and safety of its waters Cinncinnati MSD, Northern Kentucky SD1, ORSANCO and partners
Water Watchers App: This app makes it easier than ever for citizens of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC area to report pollution (illegal dumping or indicators of pollution) on the go via a smart phone. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services
WaterQuality iTunes App: An iTunes app for students, teachers, and citizens interested in learning about the water in their environment or in contributing your findings NCIT-Northern Kentucky University

Otros Recursos (Other Resources in Spanish)

Manual Para Paquete de Hojas (Leaf Pack Experiment Manual)

Macroinvertebrados Guias de Identificacion (Macroinvertebrate Identification Guides)

Training, Workshops, and Events

Share your event with a broader audience, add relevant training, workshops or events to the NWQMC Meetings of Interest page.

Disclaimers: The contents of the above listed sources do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the NWQMC. These sources may contain links to Web sites outside the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. EPA Web sites. Links are for the convenience of the user. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.