Water Quality Training

Water quality monitoring trainings ensure that all chemical monitoring data uploaded to the Chesapeake Data Explorer are collected in accordance with the CMC quality assurance project plans and standard operating procedures. We offer two general types of training for certified monitors and certified trainers. The type of training offered to each group depends on a monitoring groups specific needs, based on methods and equipment used, volunteer engagement process and program coordination.

Once water quality monitoring trainings are completed, the group becomes a CMC member and is able to upload data to the Chesapeake Data Explorer.

Certified Monitors

A certified monitor is a any person – volunteer, paid-staff, intern, etc – that collects water quality data through a monitoring program that is a member of the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative. All monitors collecting Tier 1 and Tier 2 data are required to attend a water quality monitoring certification workshop provided by a CMC service provider or certified trainer before they begin collecting data. Additionally, monitors are required to pass an annual re-certification assessment the first two years of monitoring and a biennial assessment after that in order to maintain their certification.

Certification workshops are tailored to each group, but generally include:

  • Goals and objectives of the CMC and the monitoring project
  • Science of water quality issues in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Water quality impacts and the significance of the indicators to be measured
  • Safety when monitoring
  • Review monitoring protocols through hands-on training exercises:
    • Clean, calibrate, use and store monitoring equipment
    • Collect, store and transport water samples for water quality analysis
    • Analyze water samples
    • Fill out and complete field data sheets accurately
    • Follow quality assurance and quality control procedures
  • Enter monitoring results into the Chesapeake Data Explorer

Recertification workshops are set up like a lab practicum, where monitors need to demonstrate:

  • A thorough understanding of the water quality monitoring methods and QA/QC procedures
  • They can perform the monitoring methods and QA/QC procedures correctly

Certified Trainers

A Certified Trainer is any person – volunteer, paid-staff, intern, etc – who coordinates a water quality monitoring program, which may include collecting data, training volunteers, organizing and managing data, providing quality assurance, and uploading data to the Data Explorer. We provide train-the-trainer workshops on an as needed basis for coordinators who would like to become a certified trainer for their monitoring group. These workshops are tailored to each monitoring groups specific needs based on equipment used and quality assurance protocols. Once certified, trainers are required to meet with a CMC service provider on an annual basis to review their program and troubleshoot issues.

To become certified, trainers are required to attend a Train-the-Trainer workshop and demonstrate:

  • A thorough understanding of water quality monitoring methods and QA/QC procedures implemented by this project.
  • The ability to explain water quality parameters, water quality science, and the importance of assessing stream health in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • The ability to logistically plan and effectively train workshop participants to collect data according to their program procedures.
  • The ability to provide the required quality assurance to meet their designated tier level.