EAST ALTON, IL – A series of upcoming training
opportunities will prepare the next wave of citizen scientists to help shape
stream health across the state of Illinois this spring.
The Illinois RiverWatch Network will host
a series of statewide trainings throughout March and April, which will educate
community members on how to monitor the health of their local streams.
RiverWatch, a community science
initiative, is coordinated by the National Great Rivers Research and Education
Center (NGRREC℠) at Lewis and Clark Community College. Each spring,
RiverWatch offers workshops where volunteers learn to collect and identify
stream macroinvertebrates (water bugs) and describe the physical condition of
the stream habitat. Upon completing training and becoming certified, volunteers
may adopt a stream site where they can monitor water quality and contribute to
a state-wide dataset using these RiverWatch survey methods.
“Macroinvertebrates are easy to collect
and can tell us a lot about stream health,” RiverWatch Technician Hannah
Griffis said. “The critters in our stream are impacted by pollution, habitat
changes and other changes, whether natural or caused by humans. By monitoring
the populations of these critters, we are able to get an idea of the overall
health of the stream.”
RiverWatch workshops are designed for
people with diverse educational backgrounds. The workshops will provide enough
information for volunteers to monitor streams whether they have a biology
degree or they just want to better understand the stream in their own backyard.
Upcoming RiverWatch Training Workshops
– Vermilion County – Danville
– Will County – Joliet
– Jackson County – Makanda
– Logan County – Lincoln
– Peoria County – Peoria
– Richland County – Olney
– Will County – Joliet
– Madison County – Godfrey
– Jefferson County – Mount Vernon
– Dekalb County – Genoa
– Winnebago County – Rockford
– Champaign County – Mahomet
– Kankakee County – Bourbonnais
– Lake County – Ingleside
– Knox County – Galesburg
Continuing education credits are
available for current Illinois educators. Those interested should make a note
on their registration form at https://conta.cc/3stkSD9.
The registration fee is $50 for adults,
which includes a copy of the RiverWatch manual as well as invertebrate
identification resources. Up to two children per registered adult may attend at
For more information, visit www.ngrrec.org/Riverwatch or contact Griffis at email@example.com or (618) 468-2781.
National Great Rivers Research and
Education Center (NGRREC℠)
in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to
the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center
aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related
to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and
their associated communities.