Online Training with The New York Water Sentinels

On February 24th, 2022, six members of the ALLARM team conducted a virtual, 2.5 hour stream monitoring workshop for the New York Water Sentinels. The New York Water Sentinels developed a monitoring study design during the pandemic to generate nutrient and baseline data in watersheds where nutrient runoff is a concern. The workshop represented a new milestone for ALLARM training volunteers to use a Hach colorimeter, a vital tool with the nutrient focus of the NYWS program.

Cat: This was my first time participating in a chemical monitoring workshop, during which I did the training sample collection and was also able to demonstrate how to calibrate a conductivity meter. I was able to see how ALLARM has adapted to an online setting and even though I have never attended an in-person workshop, I could see the thought that went into the planning process to make the experience just as engaging. I saw that developing creative aspects like actors’ engaging visuals has been key to the success of ALLARM’s online workshops despite not having a physical, in-person presence.

Photo shows Cat showing off the two vials used to calibrate the conductivity meter

Claudia: I enjoyed the holistic process of preparing for this workshop and the opportunity to train volunteers in measuring water clarity. The zoom workshop format, while seemingly complex with many moving online parts, was facilitated very smoothly due to our extensive preparation, practice, and familiarity with the equipment and procedures. The workshop would not have been so successful without the guidance, advice and structure of ALLARM’s full-time staff and watershed coordinators. From my observations of volunteer engagement and their demonstrated enthusiasm throughout the workshop, I would say ALLARM did a phenomenal job!

We are both excited for stream team to use the new skills they learned in the workshop and are excited to see them continue to contribute to monitoring efforts and the health of local streams.

Photo shows Claudia giving a thumbs up to the camera just before the training call began