A Virtual Chemical Monitoring Workshop

On November 9th, 2020, ALLARM held a stream team workshop with York County’s Master Watershed Stewards. This training session went through our stream team manual and the chemical tests our volunteers do to show step-by-step demonstrations on each chemical test, which includes the conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen, and pH tests. These workshops help to ensure that volunteers have some practice with ALLARM on how to go through these tests before they begin their monthly water sample collection and monitoring. Since the workshop was all done virtually, the ALLARM staff members who participated rotated through reading the manual directions and acting out different tests for the volunteers.

Although this was not my first stream team workshop, it was the first virtual one that I’ve participated in. Being able to participate in this was exciting since it was one of my first chances to work with stream team volunteers and my first time going through the chemical monitoring process virtually. I was nervous the week before the workshop because it was my first time reading and acting out parts of the manual – however, in the week leading up to the workshop I had the opportunity to practice different parts of what I would be doing with our other watershed coordinators (Olivia Spildooren, Isabel Ruff, and Shante Toledo) that were participating as well as our director, Julie Vastine, and our community science specialist, Stephanie Letourneau. This was so helpful, and I felt way more prepared going into the meeting as a result. This workshop gave me the opportunity to see how ALLARM has adapted our work with volunteers to run smoothly even when done virtually. Participating in this workshop also meant that I was able to go through and review the stream team protocols since it had been almost a year since my last workshop. I hope that this workshop was as fun and helpful for volunteers as it was for me and look forward to doing more stream team events in the future!

Watershed coordinator Isabel Ruff demonstrating the nitrate-nitrogen test.