The Solano County Biomonitoring Program engages high school students in a hands-on analysis of local watersheds. Students examine the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of a single reach of a creek in their community to gain a snapshot view of watershed health.
Participants leave the program understanding:
- the relationship between stream ecology and water quality;
- the extent of local water quality issues and ways to improve surface water quality;
- the value of citizen science and habitat restoration in watershed management;
- professional opportunities in the field of environmental science.
Offered in two sessions (February-March or April-May), the program includes three classroom presentations on stream ecology and watersheds, macroinvertebrate identification, and data interpretation. Students participate in two field trips: a watershed walk collecting streamside habitat data and an all-day citizen science monitoring field trip.
The data students collect is submitted to the California Environmental Data Exchange Network to be used by researchers and agencies throughout California.
The Biomonitoring Program is funded by the Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District, the Solano County Department of Resource Management, Solano County Water Agency, and the City of Benicia. Additional program support is provided by the Vallejo Watershed Alliance and the Greater Vallejo Recreation District.
For more information on this program, please contact Allison Martin.
High school students carry supplies to a riffle to collect macroinvertebrate samples living in Sulphur Springs Creek, Vallejo.
A high school student pulls up a D-net used to collect macroinvertebrates from Blue Rock Springs Creek in Vallejo.
Vallejo High School students rub the creek bottom to stir up macroinvertebrates, which will be identified and counted as part of an on-going creek biomonitoring program.
Students time how long it takes a ball to float down a Vallejo creek in order to determine the creek’s flow rate.