April and May are usually a very busy time in the water quality monitoring world and for the Alliance’s citizen science RiverTrends program. RiverTrends volunteer monitors have been tracking the conditions of waterways that flow into the Bay since 1985! Normally, we would take this time to onboard and re-certify our monitors to ensure we are collecting high-quality data year after year. Monitors often test at public access points to recreational areas, so having trained volunteers ready to go as we gear up for the boating, fishing, and swimming season is essential.

This spring looks a bit different for us because of COVID-19 and we have been working hard to quickly adapt to this new environment of social distancing by taking our monitoring trainings virtual! Sophie Stern, the Alliance’s RiverTrends Coordinator, recently began creating a series of videos to walk our monitors through the methods of some of the various parameters to test for and to clarify some of the most common questions that come up. Our aim is to continue to support our volunteers and their monitoring efforts, even when we can’t see them in person. We have also focused on adding captions to all of our videos to make our training accessible to people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.

Below is a video that walks through one of the first steps of the dissolved oxygen test, the Winkler Titration. Before each sampling event, monitors must check that all of their chemicals are functioning properly so they get the most accurate reading possible from their sample. Read more about the the RiverTrends program and follow the Alliance’s YouTube channel to stay updated on new videos!