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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Hoosier Riverwatch

Hoosier Riverwatch > Hoosier Riverwatch Workshops Hoosier Riverwatch Workshops

Basic Training Workshops

If you want to be a Hoosier Riverwatch volunteer stream monitor, you must attend an eight-hour Hoosier Riverwatch basic training workshop. Basic training is open to adults aged 18 and over. Younger participants or high school senior advanced placement students may attend with their parents’ consent. Qualified instructors usually conduct the workshops between April and October. They are generally free of charge and open to the public. Occasionally, a local host may charge a nominal fee to offset room rental or other costs. Please contact the local host in advance to register for an upcoming workshop [PDF].

What to Expect

Come prepared to get your feet wet and have fun! Basic training workshops will:

  • Introduce citizens and educators to the basic concepts of watersheds, water pollution, and ecological integrity of streams.
  • Include indoor classroom sessions and outdoor fieldwork.
  • Provide hands-on training on how to monitor these components of wadeable streams:
    • Physical - Habitat and flow
    • Chemical - Oxygen, pH, and nutrients
    • Biological - Benthic macroinvertebrates

Participants should bring waterproof boots, bug spray, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, drinking water, and lunch/snacks to the workshop. They will receive a printed training manual, a certification card, and access to the Hoosier Riverwatch online database so they can enter water quality data. They also will become eligible to use Hoosier Riverwatch monitoring equipment, teach Hoosier Riverwatch monitoring techniques to others, and take advantage of advanced training workshops.

Advanced Training Workshops

Advanced training workshops are open to any citizen who has completed a Hoosier Riverwatch basic training workshop and been actively monitoring and entering data into the online database. Topics may include:

  • Understanding and sampling for E. coli bacteria
  • Identifying aquatic species more accurately
  • Identifying and understanding the impact of invasive species
  • Increasing the quality of sampling data
  • Designing a better sampling plan, etc.

Advanced training workshops are held less frequently than basic training workshops. They will be listed on the Hoosier Riverwatch workshop schedule [PDF] when they are available.

Instructor Training Workshops

Hoosier Riverwatch instructor training is only taught once every two years to active volunteer stream monitors who want to become instructors and share the program’s tools and methodologies with others. Hoosier Riverwatch instructors come from many walks-of-life, such as watershed or storm water coordinators, full-time naturalists, Soil and Water Conservation District staff members, university instructors, and retirees.

Hoosier Riverwatch typically maintains between 25 and 35 active instructors [PDF] across the state. In the field, you will recognize them by their big smiles and really cool vests! Volunteer instructors are vitally important because they keep the program alive and working throughout the state and sustain it over time and across generations.

Please contact us for more information about Hoosier Riverwatch instructor training.