Watershed Sampling Blitz
September 18 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Join the Friends of Lake Monroe & the IU Limnology Lab as a Citizen Scientist collecting water samples from stream sites in the Lake Monroe/Salt Creek watershed on Friday, September 18th. No experience needed; just enthusiasm! Click HERE to register online.
If you enjoy exploring nature and have an interest in science, you’re the perfect volunteer! A few weeks before sampling blitz day arrives, volunteers will be provided with online virtual training videos that break down how to perform various stream sampling tasks. On sampling blitz day, meet your partner at a designated staging location in either Bloomington, Nashville, Gatesville, Story, or Freetown to pick up your sampling blitz materials. (Volunteers will work in teams of two for safety reasons but can maintain physical distance throughout the process or you can register with a household member – see section below about COVID-19 adaptations.) Each team will venture off to visit 4-6 stream sites. Once at a stream site, one partner will evaluate the habitat using a 10-question form while the other partner collects a water sample and performs a few simple tests. Your collected water sample will be stored in a cooler bag, in your car, as you travel around to remaining stream sites or until you get back to your staging location. At any point, your team is welcome to return to the staging location to drop off and process samples (with the help of IU Limnology Lab staff and students), find a restroom, refill water bottles, break for lunch, etc. At the end of the day, teams will return to the staging location to process any remaining samples, turn in their materials, and fill out a quick evaluation. Volunteers should be finished by 4:00pm, with some teams finishing earlier based on travel times. Data collected will help guide the development of a watershed management plan for Lake Monroe.
Since our sample day will involve some off-road adventuring, if you have water shoes, waterproof boots such as rain boots, waders, please bring those along as your feet are likely to end up in the stream. One set of waders/boots can be made available to each team.
**** COVID-19 Adaptations ****
In an effort to decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission, this event has been designed following CDC recommendations to minimize contact between volunteers. We want to ensure that each of our volunteers feel safe on sampling day. Alternative to conducting in-person training, videos to illustrate sampling techniques will be offered virtually and available for viewing starting September 4th. On blitz day, volunteers will arrive at their assigned staging location at staggered times to prevent in-person arrival overlap. Along with sampling materials, each sampling kit will include facial masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves. Since sampling will be conducted in teams for safety reasons, we encourage volunteers to register with a household member. Solo volunteers will be assigned a partner with the understanding that the two people can work together while maintaining physical distance, such as traveling separately and following sampling strategies illustrated in the training video. As the COVID-19 response evolves, updates that include other necessary precautions will be explained in detail as part of the virtual training materials.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring water and food. However, there are restaurants located at or near each staging location for those interested in purchasing lunch. Details about available nearby food establishments will be provided closer to the event.