Level 2 Stream Monitoring
Initially piloted in 2006, this level of the Water Action Volunteers program brings volunteers to the next step in stream monitoring. At this level, when funding allows, citizens are trained to use Department of Natural Resources’ methods for monitoring streams (otherwise they continue to use Level 1 methods and equipment). Regardless of method used, dissolved oxygen and transparency, and sometimes pH, are monitored monthly between May and October on pre-determined dates. Continuous temperature monitoring devices, called thermistors (e.g., HOBOs or TidBits) are placed in the stream and record temperature every hour until they are removed from the stream and data are downloaded to a computer. When volunteers use meters to monitor pH and dissolved oxygen, the meters must be calibrated by the citizen monitors on each sampling day. Due to the high cost of equipment for this level of monitoring, citizen groups share equipment and often seek local grant funding to purchase their own equipment to be able to provide as much data as possible in a given area.