Saturday, May 09, 2009

Stream Monitoring

Today was so exciting we don't even have pictures--I know--shocking! We drove about 45 minutes to the town of Lodi to train as stream monitors with the Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring National Facilitation Project. I am already in love with UW-Extension, their slogan is "connecting you to lifelong learning." It doesn't get better! Our training lasted about 6 hours and covered everything from basic stream ecology to the very detailed tests we will be running on a monthly basis on the stream of our choice. After all the theory and instructions in the morning we got to go outside and try our hand at it. We test: clarity, velocity, dissolved oxygen, macro-invertebrates, temperatures and measure depth, width etc. and takes notes on the habitat. All the data gets put in a huge DNR database. Both the extension agent and the DNR wildlife biologist who led the training were fantastic, both said they wished more kids would do the training because they tend to be more precise and better and some of the tests--more patience I suspect.

We had a wonderful time and can't wait to get our kit on Monday and start collecting data! My dad did this kind of stuff for years so her was super excited to hear about our day. When Evie told him that she also just got a rain gauge (she has been asking for one for awhile), he just lit up--so cool!


Stephanie said...

We have a rain gauge... that is sitting downstairs.
I'm rolling my eyes.
I've been thinking for years that I'd like a "weather station" spot on our yard, somewhere. With a thermometer, the rain gauge, sundial, and something for the wind.

Maybe this week!

The project you're involved in sounds fantastic!
Something very official, but also something that helps to connect.

Eluciq said...

WOW...what a fabulous on going learning experience you and Evie will have!

This sounds like so much fun!

denise said...

My son has been wanting to 'study' streams and ponds ... meaning find microscopic things with his microscope. And wants to test water, and filter it, etc. He is too young for a 6 hour training thing and all that, but in a few years...we're there!!! Sounds very cool.

Lynch Family said...

Denise: Let's get together and explore the stream of your choice! (I will email you with details!)