a Citizen Scientist
Current Monitoring Sites - Including Station #
- Lakes, Ponds & Reservoirs
- Rivers & streams
- Bays, salt ponds & harbors
to Bathymetric Maps of Some RI Ponds
Data and Results
Aquatic Invasive Species
Cyanobacteria (Algal Blooms)
Fair - Water Projects
- Volunteer Monitoring
- Educational -
- Agencies (Including URI)
Involved in Being
a URIWW Volunteer Monitor
- Water quality monitoring
requires a time commitment of one to two midday hours
per week. Volunteers choose the day of the week that
is most convenient for them.
- The monitoring season extends
from late April to October, and generally can not be
started mid-season. Volunteers need not have any prior
experience in water quality monitoring.
- Access to a canoe, kayak,
or boat is essential for lake and pond monitoring since
volunteers must provide the means to get to their monitoring
locations, which are typically the deepest part of the
lake, or mid-stream for rivers.
We work with local organizations
to identify monitoring sites. Our goal is to have a minimum
of three sites per watershed or system in order to get
fuller understanding of impacts to a particular area.
We also ask for a committment of at least three
years for new sites so that weather variations and other
background "noise" can be reduced when assessing conditions.
These criteria means that the stream
or small pond in your backyard may not be a site for
which we are seeking volunteers, but we are happy to
discuss it with you. Our list of potential sites (existing
and new) for 2013 can be found by clicking
Volunteers need not have any
prior experience in water quality monitoring. Volunteers
receive both classroom and field training. Training
sessions are generally held in April. Volunteers
are provided with a detailed monitoring procedures manual
and all the necessary monitoring equipment and supplies.
schedule specific to the type of waterbody being
monitored (lake, river, salt pond, etc.) is distributed
prior to the start of the season. The schedule indicates
the dates of the three levels of water quality monitoring.
Weekly measurements are made of water clarity and surface
temperature on lakes, ponds and some marine sites.
These measurements take about 15 minutes, not including
travel time to the mid-lake location. Because of the
influence that the sun has, these measurements must
be done midday (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). The results
are mailed to URI on pre-stamped postcards provided
to the volunteers by Watershed Watch. Additional bi-weekly
water monitoring for lakes includes collection and
processing of water samples for later chlorophyll analysis,
as well as measurement of deeper water temperature.
Volunteers on certain locations also measure the dissolved
oxygen content of their location. These measurements
are made using provided field kits, and constitute
the bulk of monitoring at most river and marine sites.
On designated water collection days, usually 3 - 6
periods spanning the monitoring season, all volunteers
collect a set of water samples and immediately bring
them to the Watershed Watch laboratories at URI. On
these water collection days volunteers perform additional
quality assurance tests on water samples provided by
URIWW. They also receive replacement equipment and
supplies as needed, and get an opportunity to meet
with other volunteers and to receive additional ecological
$600 per lake, bay and salt
pond monitoring site per year, or $500 per stream or
river site. Site registration fees are generally
paid by the local sponsor, not the volunteer monitor. This
fee covers all training, equipment, analyses, data management
and reporting, and the quality control needed to meet
Rhode Island Laboratory Certification.