Students will monitor Project Watershed CNY/SOS stream sites twice a year. Adult volunteers monitor on a bimonthly basis. Volunteers monitor for dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, pH, biochemical oxygen demand, reactive phosphate (PO4)-3, nitrate (NO3)-, chloride, turbidity, and total dissolved solids (TDS). Physical and biological assessments are also conducted.
A list of monitoring sites and their corresponding locations can be found in Section 6: Project/Task Description. A map of volunteer and county stream monitoring stations can be found in the Project Study Design: SOPs. Monitoring sites are identified by a station code. These sites have been chosen based on the following criteria:
· safe access
· close locale to participating high schools
· avoidance of private property; or permission has been obtained to access property
· water samples can be taken from the main current of the stream
· water samples are representative of stream of interest
· site represents an area that possesses habitat, recreational, and aesthetic values
· stream health may be compromised
· sites are surrounding by a diversity of land uses
The dates of the monitoring events are chosen by a teacher or adult team leader in coordination with the Director or Project Coordinator and will be dependent on volunteer availability. Monitoring activities will be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. Safety is the first priority. Volunteers should not go into the field during thunderstorms, blizzards, or when there is extreme temperatures or excessive winds. Volunteers should exhibit caution when maneuvering on snow and ice-covered stream banks, in fast currents, or in high water. Volunteers are required to wear safety goggles and vinyl gloves when conducted chemical analyses. The Director also provides a pair of hip boots. The Director always carries appropriate Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) with first aid instructions in case of emergencies. The teacher and corresponding school district are responsible for student safety, behavior, and transportation to and from the stream site.
Student volunteers will be broken into three teams for physical, chemical, and biological monitoring. The teacher will be primarily responsible for overseeing the physical and biological monitoring activities. The Director will be responsible for overseeing the chemical testing. Adult teams, made up of three to five individuals, will monitor the same physical, chemical, and biological parameters as the student volunteers. In the event an adult volunteer cannot be present, the Director should be notified as soon as possible to remedy the situation.