Course Information

NCADH is hosting a benthic macroinvertebrate trainer certification and volunteer monitoring program manager course in South Mountain State Park October 25 and 26. The cost for the training is $50.

Meet the instructors:

Dave Penrose: I’ve worked as a stream ecologist for over 40 years and find that the science still fascinates me. I learn something about every stream or river that I work in. My professional goals primarily are about advancing the science of stream ecology, whether that’s as a contractor working on a restoration project or teaching aquatic insect taxonomy or ecology to students. Penrose Environmental

Gracia O’Neill: has extensive experience in community and volunteer organizing. She has provided education, advocacy, and technical assistance to NC communities on a wide variety of water-related issues. She has coordinated the SMIE program since 2004, co-led all SMIE volunteer trainings, and has been a SMIE Group Leader since 2006. Gracia has a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies. Environmental Quality Institute

Adam Griggs: Adam’s love of creeks led to him earning a Biology degree at Coastal Carolina University and a MS in Environmental Biology at Hood College. At Hood, he had the opportunity to coordinate the Monocacy Basin Stream Monitoring Project (MBSMP). After graduate school, Adam joined the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) as Watershed Coordinator. In 2008, Adam was promoted to Aquatic Ecologist and provided regulatory agencies including the EPA, Chesapeake Bay Program, and Potomac Basin states with a range of scientific and technical services, including monitoring, modeling, program design, and data analysis.  River Network

Why go to this workshop?

  • To learn how to collect cost effective, high quality biological data on your streams that can be used to track long term trends and evaluate impacts on stream health;
  • NC Division of Water Resources only collects benthic data every 5 years, on a limited number of streams;
  • To learn how to teach others to use high quality benthic invertebrate monitoring methods,
  • To be a part of a statewide effort to standardize water quality collection methods and data management
  • College & high school teachers can engage students in collecting stream data in a way that makes a difference in their watershed

What is it?

Workshop will teach a protocol adopted by the NC Aquatic Data Hub, originally developed by the Environmental Quality Institute (EQI), designed to engage untrained community members in advanced aquatic macroinvertebrate monitoring. The protocol is considered a Tier II method for stream monitoring by the NCADH, which will provide high quality data to inform planning and management efforts (if a quality assurance plan accompanies the data). Participants will learn training techniques & program requirements, become familiar with training materials/tools, practice the protocol in a classroom and a stream, and will learn basic information about Quality Assurance Plans.

The training will offer two tracks:

  • Lead Trainer Track – focus on training and certifying the lead trainers. The certification will require participants pass an identification test. These folks will be able to train citizen scientists who volunteer to do the field collection and perform annual quality control on specimen identification.
  • Program Manager Track – will learn how to establish a Tier II macroinvertebrate volunteer monitoring program. You will learn to manage the day to day recruitment and management of volunteer citizen scientists and coordinate sampling activities.

Who should participate?

  • Lead Trainer – I have 1-2 years minimum experience in monitoring benthic invertebrates, and am able to identify benthic invertebrates by Family;
  • Program Manager – I have at least 1 year experience teaching adult learners in a science setting


  • I am interested in monitoring benthic invertebrates in my community or for my work, and/or
  • I am interested in starting or expanding citizen science efforts to monitor benthic invertebrates

What is it not?

  • An introductory course on benthic invertebrate monitoring;
  • A course on writing quality assurance plans- a future webinar will be offered on QAPPs, or
  • A certification course for trainers seeking NCDWR acceptance of data for rating streams. That requires a Tier III protocol and training.

To register, please select your track and enter any dietary preferences you have regarding lunch. Click the Pay Now button. You will be taken to our PayPal site where you’ll enter your contact and payment information.
Tracks- choose one from the dropdown below:
Dietary Preferences (fill in box below):
Participant name:


Suggested lodging

Hampton Inn Morganton, 115 Bush Dr, Morganton, NC 28655  (828) 432-2000
Sleep Inn, 2400A S Sterling St, Morganton, NC 28655 (828) 433-9000
Comfort Inn and Suites, 1273 Burkemont Ave, Morganton, NC 28655 (828) 430-4000
Quality Inn, 2400 S Sterling St, Morganton, NC 28655 (828) 437-0171
and there’s camping options at South Mountain State Park.


Directions to the workshop