Planning an Advanced Stream Ecology Training

Please review the general “Planning Training” section of the website. General considerations of planning, communicating, advertising and organization are covered there.

The following materials for planning an advanced stream ecology workshop are designed so that you should be able to share them with volunteers even if you have little background in stream ecology yourself. Inviting a local expert from a university or resource agency would enrich your training, but is not necessary.

Agenda and Checklist
We have provided a sample agenda and checklist (10 KB pdf) for you to use for a stream ecology workshop. You may choose to cover all the content on the sample agenda or you may opt to pick only one or two areas on which to focus. 

Icebreakers and Introductions
Help your participants to start thinking and connecting with each other as soon as they walk in the room.  We recommend several of the activities using Wisconsin Wildcards from the activity guide “Go Wild with Wisconsin Wildcards.” We particularly recommend “Who Am I” found in the “Celebrate the Wild in Wisconsin” section.  Here are the basics from that activity:

  • Tape an aquatic invertebrate card (available upon request) to each person’s back.  By asking yes or no questions to others in the group, they try to find the identity of their “mystery organism”.  While asking the yes or no questions, they can also meet their fellow participants. 
  • The “Dive into Wisconsin’s Waters” section also contains activities that connect to concepts of stream ecology.
  • We advise taking the time to have each participant introduce themselves and tell a bit about their experiences and background related to science /aquatic biology.  The most beneficial workshops are those where participants learn from each other and knowing something about each other’s background can help facilitate this. 

PowerPoint Presentations
We have provided three PowerPoint presentations that cover the majority of the information highlighted in the sample agenda (10 KB pdf) as well as additional information.   We have provided these presentations so that you can use them as they are, or adapt them for your stream ecology training to best meet interests and needs of the participants.  The following presentations are available:

Natural History of Stream Invertebrates: Using and Making Sense of Biotic Indices, and Beyond

Relationships Between Habitat Preferences, Feeding, Life Cycles of Aquatic Insects & Stream Health

Integrating Principles and Concepts from General Ecology, Stream Biology, Biological Diversity of Stream Invertebrates, and Water Chemistry
For this presentation, Facilitator Notes (pdf 44 kb) and Participant Hand-outs (pdf 214 kb) are also provided.  These supporting materials follow the presentation directly and help guide both participants and facilitators through the presentation.  Participant handouts include blank tables and figures which are designed to allow participants to gain confidence in their new knowledge by putting principles of stream ecology to work.  Facilitator notes offer sample answers to thought questions asked in the presentation.  In addition, they include completed tables and figures (which are provided to participants as “assignments”).

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