The Introduction to Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring is the entry level of monitoring.  This 8-hour workshop includes training for watershed mapping, site selection, stream discharge, and biological monitoring (for stream macroinvertebrates).  The primary emphasis is education about watersheds and biological monitoring.  Although most of the workshop is conducted in a classroom, a midday field trip to a nearby stream provides a hands-on demonstration of how to conduct stream discharge as well as how to collect and identify macroinvertebrates.  After the completion of this workshop you will be provided the equipment necessary to conduct the biological monitoring.  These workshops are usually offered in the spring and early summer each year.

Click here to view images of macroinvertebrates

Blue Bug Card

Key to Macroinvertebrates

WQM Macroinvertebrates Chart

Check out our Intro Level Videos

Introductory Notebook

Introductory PowerPoint Presentations

Amazing Mayfly Video

Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species

Specimen Preservation

Can I test out or skip the Introductory Class?

In short no, the data collected by our volunteers is used by the sponsoring agencies and needs to be consistent in protocol.  So unless a volunteer has been trained by the program and is using our standard equipment, we cannot use the data they collect.

Do not be offended, this is a Quality Assurance/Quality Control measure for us.  We have individuals from all walks of life, including engineers, professors, and our own staff that have gone through our training program.  We will not accept any data collected by anyone that has not gone through our courses.  This way we can say how our volunteers have been trained, what equipment they are using, etc. 


Schedule and Registration Info

VWQM Introductory Schedule

Click Here to Register Online

Printable Registration Form

The next round of Introductory Water Quality Monitoring workshops are being scheduled.  The workshops consist of 6 hours of classroom instruction and 1-2 hours on a stream to demonstrate sampling methods.  Volunteers will learn to measure the biological and physical aspects to evaluate stream conditions.  An introduction to water chemistry will also be covered in this class.  As the volunteers' interest and expertise increase, they can receive advanced training and become more proficient at monitoring.

The only requirements to attend one of the workshops are that you have an interest in water quality and are willing to donate your time to attend then entire workshop and to monitor a stream.  Due to the high demand and limited space for these classes, individuals under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by a sponsoring adult in order to attend.

Class size will be limited and is filled on a first come first serve basis.

If you are interested in attending an Introductory workshop, please print out and complete the Registration Form and return it to:

Karen Westin
Water Protection Program
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176


Register Online and you will receive a confirmation letter that contains detailed information about class locations and times approximately 2 weeks before the workshop.  If you attended an Intro workshop in the past and would like to refresh yourself with water quality monitoring procedures, please feel free to register and attend.  However, please understand, first priority will be given to those individuals attending the Intro workshop for the first time.

Email Karen Westin at:
Call Stream Team Voice Mail: 1-800-781-1989