Upcoming Water Monitoring Classes with the Audubon Naturalist Society

For more than 25 years, the Audubon Naturalist Society has been teaching the natural history of aquatic ecology and training volunteer stream monitors to track the health of our region’s streams. Learn from the experts: study stream science in our introductory classes, and you just might be inspired to become a stream monitor yourself! Our advanced classes are perfect for those interested in deepening their knowledge about biological stream monitoring and are taught by our Maryland Biological Stream Survey-certified instructor Cathy Wiss.

Registration & Fee Information 

Registration is required: register online at The classes are open to anyone 10 years and older. Except for Macro ID Review & Quiz, prices for all classes are $15 ANS Members/$25 Nonmembers. Waivers are available for those currently in the ANS monitoring program and for middle school and high school students earning SSL credit through their school systems. Email for details.

Introduction to Stream Science Series

Healthy Stream Biology 
Woodend Sanctuary, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD  
Classroom Session Section A: Thursday, January 23 (7-9:30 pm) 
Classroom Session Section B: Wednesday, March 25 (7-9:30 pm) 
(Sections A & B cover the same material) 
In the classroom, we will explore how “benthic macroinvertebrates” — organisms that live in the bottom of streams – help us assess a streams’ health. We will learn how to identify these organisms to the taxonomic level of order through a PowerPoint presentation and by examining preserved specimens through a hands-on session with microscopes. Click here to register.
Field Workshop: Saturday, March 28 (9:30 am – 12 noon)
Ten Mile Creek, Boyds, MD
In the field workshop, we will visit a stream to practice monitoring techniques and to collect and identify the benthic macroinvertebrates we find. Click here to register.

How to Read Your Stream
Thursday, March 19 (7-9:30 pm)
Woodend Sanctuary, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD
Learn about the influence of land uses on streams, stream character and dynamics, bank erosion, bar formation, substrate composition, different velocity-depth regimes, and the importance of riffles and riparian vegetation. We will practice assessing stream habitat by using photographs of streams and the forms that monitors fill out in the field. This class is recommended for anyone who plans to participate in the ANS water quality monitoring program and is a good refresher on habitat assessment for experienced monitors. Click here to register.

Advanced Series: Aquatic Insect Family ID
Woodend Sanctuary, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD (7-9:30 pm)
Beetles, Megaloptera & Water Bugs, Thursday, January 30
Caddisflies & Aquatic Moths, Thursday, February 6
Dragonflies, Damselflies & True Flies, Thursday, February 13
Mayflies, Thursday, February 20
Stoneflies & Review, Thursday, February 27
Learn how to identify aquatic insects to the taxonomic level of family through this series of five classes. Identification to family level greatly enhances our understanding of stream ecology and the power of our monitoring data. These classes are great for fly fishermen, citizen science program or team leaders, aquatic resource biologists, and anyone interested in monitoring and understanding stream health. Click here to register.

Macroinvertebrate ID Review & Quiz
Woodend Sanctuary, Chevy Chase, MD
Section A: Saturday, March 7 (9:30-noon)
Section B: Tuesday, March 10 (6:30-9:00 pm)
Section C: Thursday, March 12 (6:30-9:00 pm)
(Sections A, B, and C cover the same material)
No fee
Time to separate the mayflies from the stoneflies! Those who wish to be certified to identify macroinvertebrates in the field in ANS’ program must demonstrate their ability annually by taking a quiz using preserved specimens. Those who do not take the quiz may still be assigned to a monitoring team to assist with data collection and other field logistics, but only those who have taken and passed the quiz will identify macroinvertebrates for data recording. Click here to register.

Image Credit: Audubon Naturalist Society logo