The VWQM portion of the Stream Team Program educates citizens about stream function while providing the tools to collect valuable data on our aquatic resources. It is a tiered approach offering multiple levels of training. This allows individuals to participate at a level in which they are comfortable while also providing different degrees of data quality.
Data submitted by individuals that have attended the Introductory and Level 1 trainings are used as screening data to inform and educate individuals about the condition of our streams, gather baseline information, locate emerging problems, and have been used to supplement other agency’s data (Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, MODOT, etc.).
However, once a volunteer completes a Level 2 QA/QC training, we have higher confidence in their methods, technique, and commitment, so the confidence in the data are elevated and are often used to supplement supporting agency data. Level 2 data may be utilized to evaluate best management practices(BMPs) and as supplemental data for planning and permitting. They are also included in the semi-annual 305(b) report to the Environmental Protection Agency which describes the water quality of streams statewide. This is a significant achievement and something other programs across the nation are working towards.
Due to the elevated confidence in these data, we always want to ensure we are providing the highest quality data to the sponsoring agencies and all other data users. To reach this goal and increase confidence in the data, the Program now requires Level 2 trained individuals to have their equipment checked at least once every three years in order to maintain quality assurance and confidence in data collected by Level 2 and 3 volunteers.
Volunteers can either attend one of our regularly scheduled Level 2 workshops, or one of the new Validation Trainings. This Validation Training is a shorter, 2½ hour session held during the evening. This training is critical to ensure that your equipment is functioning properly and your reagents are viable. We are confident this will also increase the volunteers’ confidence in their own abilities by providing additional opportunities to practice the chemical monitoring techniques, receive new reagents, and ensure their kits are functioning properly.
Individuals that do not attend one of the Validation Trainings or a Level 2 workshop within a three year period are still encouraged to collect and submit their VWQM Data. These data will still be used, but not to the same degree.
Schedule and Registration Info
The entire workshop will be held indoors. The morning will be spent analyzing water samples using the chemical equipment you were issued after your Level 1 class, SO BE SURE TO BRING ALL YOUR CHEMICAL MONITORING EQUIPMENT and ensure your pH meter is properly hydrated just before you attend. The afternoon will be spent improving your aquatic invertebrate identification skills. A short evaluation will follow to help establish baseline information on the accuracy of volunteer biological data. 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 the Validation workshop, please print out and complete the Registration Form and return it to:
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 a 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: Karen.Westin@dnr.mo.gov or
Call Stream Team Voice Mail: 1-800-781-1989