citizen science stream team
Our Citizen Science Stream Team is a volunteer based group of folks from all walks of life in the Missoula community. The team includes families, young professional, retired scientists, college professors, AmeriCorps members, students from the University of Montana, and even a few high school students wanting to learn more about water monitoring. Prior knowledge and/or experience in stream monitoring is not necessary to be a part of the team, however we welcome folks with diverse environmental backgrounds to teach all of us something new!
Protecting and ensuring the health of our streams and watersheds is everyone's responsibility. It takes a collaborative network of dedicated and educated citizens all working together to understand the importance of a healthy watershed, raise awareness about water issues, prevent water pollution, and improve water quality.
Stream Team is supported through the Open Rivers Fund,
a program of Resources Legacy Fund supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
join the team
After attending a training (contact Aissa, or take a look at our WEN events calendar), you can join our Level 1 Stream Team and/or our Level 2 Stream Team. Once you find your niche, join a group of dedicated volunteers that go out each Sunday afternoon during the spring, summer and fall, given safe stream conditions. As a volunteer you can gain experience and help the team collect important data on the physical properties of water, water quality (chemistry), and biological assessments (aquatic insects).
All volunteer data is used to establish baseline data on streams throughout the Missoula area and establish long-term trends, with hopes to share this data with the public.
Higher level data (i.e., Level 2) is used to supplement agency-collected data for certain projects.
Everyone is welcome to join the team to help collect important stream data and to learn about the importance of a healthy watershed.
Stream Team is led by Aissa Wise and Stephie Novak.
Our Current Project
In 2019 WEN’s Stream Team started focusing their monitoring efforts on Rattlesnake Creek, a local creek in Missoula, MT, to provide critical data for our partners Trout Unlimited (TU) & Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MT FWP).
Now in 2020, Rattlesnake Creek saw it's first big dam removal and habitat restoration to restore the creek to natural processes. This project has created an ideal opportunity to provide data to our partners while engaging our citizen scientist in a higher level of stream monitoring (Level 2). WEN has been sending these citizen scientists along with Aissa to collect important stream data to share with our partners.
During this project we are proud to also be partnering up with the UC Davis, Center for Community and Citizen Science to help guide them as they write a manual on Citizen Science in regards to dam removal. Check out this article written about this incredible collaboration with UC Davis !
Data collected by Stream Team
The shape of a stream’s
cross-section profile is a reflection of current
and recent flow conditions (e.g. gradient,
substrate, velocity, stream bank). These
conditions influence the streambed shape. Regular monitoring of a stream’s cross-section profile allows you to document changes in stream conditions.