On Tuesday September 26th, I joined Isabel Ruff (Volunteer Monitoring Specialist) and Amelia Harper ‘25 to assist with the Lycoming Stream Team QC and pick-up meeting. Amelia first gathered equipment that volunteers would need along with extra refill kit materials including nitrate-nitrogen tablets and equipment cleaning supplies. We then drove off to the meeting spot and set up! We had three stations for the volunteers: the first included a sign-in sheet and packets to pick-up which was led by Isabel; the second, tabled by Amelia, acted as a refilling station for expired materials; and finally at the third station, I collected water samples and data sheets from the volunteers. Afterwards, Isabel facilitated a discussion and asked the volunteers how their monitoring was going this year, any barriers they were facing with their site, and any fun stories they wished to share. Volunteers expressed how challenging it is to conduct stage from a bridge especially when there are windy conditions. Another volunteer shared a story about how she found a girl’s camera and was able to return it to her through social media! The final portion of the hour-long meeting concluded with troubleshooting and a refresher on how to calibrate the conductivity meters. Both Isabel and Amelia did a great job of providing tips to support success in the future!
Overall, I had a great experience! This was my first time going to Lycoming County and meeting the Lycoming Stream Team volunteers. It was also Amelia’s first in-person stream team volunteer meeting and she added, “I loved chatting with them and hearing how passionate they are about the work.” I also enjoyed getting to know them more as well as my fellow ALLARMies during the car rides! This meeting ultimately reminded me that my favorite part about working at ALLARM is interacting with the volunteers, getting to know their stories and understanding their connection to their site.