All data and field results are recorded in the field or at the time of test completion. Monitoring groups are provided with physical, chemical, and biological field data forms. Group name, survey date, river basin, names of participants, teacher or adult contact information, site location, weather conditions, stream conditions, and air temperature are recorded on the field survey form. Samples of the data sheets can be found in the appendices of the Study Design: SOPs. The forms are completed and returned to the group leader/Director as soon as they are completed. The Director takes a copy of the uncompleted data forms to ensure that no raw data are lost. Teachers and adult volunteers are responsible for calculating WQI values for chemical parameters and determining Total Index Values for the Macroinvertebrate Water Quality Rating. (Please refer to the Project Watershed CNY/SOS Study Design: SOPs for more details). All water samples that are taken back to a lab are labeled with the date and site location.
The Director reviews all data sheets for any outliers, incomplete data, and/or nonsensical entries. Once the Director has completed reviewing the data sheets and has computed the Water Quality Index (WQI) and the Total Index values, the forms are passed on to the Data Manager for further review. The Data Manager uploads the volunteer stream survey data onto the on-line project database. The Data Manager is responsible for making sure the database is maintained.
The database software currently being utilized by Project Watershed CNY/SOS is File Maker Pro©. This database type was chosen because it is a good introductory program that is user friendly. The system is also easy to set up as well as maintain. The database is checked on a daily basis to ensure the system is working properly.
Hard copies of all field data sheets are archived at the Onondaga County Health Department. Electronic back-up copies of the data are also maintained.
The Director keeps all other records, archives, schedules, finance records, and project -related documentation. The Project Coordinator maintains all minutes from Board of Director meetings.