Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Water Quality Monitoring at Booker T. Washington National Monument

Today I was able to volunteer with other BRFAL Chapter members at Booker T Washington National Monument in Hardy Virginia.
The data gives Booker T. Washington Nat’l Monument baseline values for future comparison and may reveal early warnings of degrading conditions in the watersheds.  Without BRFAL’s help, the Park would not be able to conduct this valuable monitoring, and the natural resource management decisions of the Park would be based on sporadic visual information only.

Volunteers and staff will conduct monthly water chemistry measurements at five sites in the Park. A YSI Professional Plus electronic meter is calibrated against known standards and then is used in the creeks to measure temperature, pH, specific conductance, and dissolved oxygen in the water. A long term YSI water quality sonde is also used to make specific conductance measurements every 15 minutes at one site.  Water samples are also collected for laboratory analysis of additional chemicals and sediment.

Shellie "Since today was my first day on the job, I tried to follow what the other members were doing as we calibrated the YSI Meter and then took samples as well as sediment samples that were to be sent off to a lab. It was a hot, muggy and buggy day, but uber interesting! I look forward to going back next month to give it another shot.

I will now show a few photos from the Water Quality Monitoring without getting too technical. At the end you have an opportunity to click a link to learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist Program. We invite you to join this group, take the training, getting involved as a citizen scientist!"

Ranger Timbo and Don preparing to collect data from the long term YSI water quality sonde
PCC at Booker T Washington National Monument
Water quality monitoring
Marshall collecting sediment for testing
Guy entering the calibrations
BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist wants you to get outside, explore and learn something new today. Get involved in something cool! Learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist program here. Keep an eye on this blog for updates and announcements for BRFAL CHAPTER classes! 

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