Take on the role of scientist by helping to monitoring our local creeks. The data we collect helps municipalities and government agencies protect these vital habitats. We offer two types of Community Science opportunities for the public.
Water Quality Monitoring
The regular collection of water chemistry data provides important information on creek health over time. By assisting with creek monitoring, adults and youth 12 and up will gain a new appreciation of the importance of our local creeks and the diversity and beauty of the plants and animals that live there.
We collect water quality data monthly at 8 creek sites. The sites we monitor are shown on maps, and our results since early 2014 are viewable from our Water Quality Monitoring Map website.
Did you know that there are various little insects, worms, clams, and other creatures that live at the bottom of your local creek? Biologists around the world recognize that these creatures—known as benthic macroinvertebrates or simply "creek bugs"—can tell us a lot about creek health. We know that some bugs are sensitive to pollution, while others are quite tolerant. The types of bugs we find at a site will reflect what habitat quality has been like there for days, weeks, or even months prior to sampling.
Since 2006, our volunteers have conducted an ongoing study of the bugs in Stevens Creek. We sample bugs from several sites each fall and then meet at our “Bug Club” on Wednesday evenings throughout the rest of the year to process the bugs. We are lucky to be guided in this study by Steve Fend, a recently retired US Geological Survey stream ecologist and entomologist.
No prior experience is needed to take part in this scientific study. Our one requirement is that volunteers—adults and students 13 years of age or older—make a commitment to learning proper lab protocols. To join our Bug Club or learn more, Contact Shelley Pneh.