Texas Stream Team

Texas Stream Team is a network of trained volunteers and supportive partners working together to collect information about the natural resources of Texas and to ensure the information is available to all Texans. Volunteers are trained to collect quality-assured information that can be used to make environmentally sound decisions. Established in 1991 as Texas Watch, Texas Stream Team is administered through a cooperative partnership between The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Currently more than 400 Texas Stream Team volunteers collect water quality data on lakes, rivers, and streams with programs across the state.

Volunteers complete three phases of training using a test kit that measures physical and chemical parameters in water. If you are interested in the H-GAC Texas Stream Team program to become a certified Water Quality Monitor in the H-GAC Region, please contact us at stream.team@h-gac.com.

Use the Sign Up Form in the right menu bar or send us an email at stream.team@h-gac.com to receive our newsletter.

Upcoming H-GAC Texas Stream Team Certified Water Monitoring Trainings

Phase I and II Trainings

H-GAC offers the Texas Stream Team Core Water Quality Citizen Scientist Training at different locations across the region each year in cooperation with local partners. Core trainings are typically limited in size, and combine Phase I and II into a one-day training followed by an individually scheduled Phase III.

H-GAC plans to offer more trainings across the region in 2020, but trainings will not be scheduled until it is safe to do so. Please check back for more information or email stream.team@h-gac.com with questions.

Phase III Trainings

Phase III trainings are scheduled on an individual basis after completion of the Phase I and II workshop. Phase III trainings are currently on hold. If you completed the February 2020 Phase I and II training, please communicate with stream.team@h-gac.com to begin determining your monitoring location so your Phase III training can be scheduled when trainings resume.

Training Requirements

Participants in H-GAC's Texas Stream Team program are certified at various levels depending on their environmental monitoring activities. Participants must complete a monitoring plan before training begins to specify their environmental goals and concerns. H-GAC's Texas Stream Team staff offer guidance in this process and provide the appropriate training so volunteers can effectively monitor the environment to achieve their goals.

Core Water Quality Citizen Scientist Training

Volunteers complete three phases of training using a test kit that measures physical and chemical parameters in water. Volunteers are asked to monitor their site(s) monthly at the same time of day each month, for a two year commitment. Monitoring takes approximately one to two hours per month per site.

Please email stream.team@h-gac.com to see about scheduling a training in your area.

Advanced Water Quality Citizen Scientist Training

H-GAC's Texas Stream Team program does not currently provide Advanced trainings, including testing for bacteria (E. coli), turbidity, nitrate-nitrogen, and orthophosphates. After completing the Core training and monitoring for at least six months to one year, volunteers may pursue Advanced training from other Texas Stream Team partners across the state.

Please email stream.team@h-gac.com if you want to discuss Advanced training options.

 

Training Phase I

Hands-on training in a classroom setting. Explains how to handle the monitoring equipment and demonstrates the tests. Volunteers then perform the tests under the close supervision of the trainer. Adherence to safety procedures is emphasized. Approximately 3 hours.

Training Phase II

Provides volunteers the opportunity to conduct the monitoring procedures in the field. Safety considerations in monitoring and site selection are emphasized. Volunteers conduct the tests with limited supervision and assistance of the trainer. Trainer carefully observes volunteers' procedures, answers questions, and corrects errors in procedure and safety. Approximately 3 hours.

(Phase I and II Training are usually completed in the same day, with morning and afternoon sessions.)

Training Phase III

Conducted as a one-on-one session with a trainer and each volunteer at their assigned monitoring site. Volunteer conducts all tests under limited supervision from the trainer. If satisfactory, the trainer signs off and training is complete. Volunteer becomes an H-GAC Texas Stream Team Certified Water Quality Monitor. Approximately 3 hours.

Volunteers are asked to attend one annual quality control session after monitoring begins. The TST protocols were developed under a TCEQ-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan. The QAPP ensures volunteers collection highest quality information to augment professionally-collected data in the region.

Information for Volunteers

The following links are resources for current H-GAC Texas Stream Team volunteers:

Water Quality Monitoring Form (Fresh)

PDF
Word
Instructions

Water Quality Monitoring Form (Tidal)

PDF
Word
Instructions

Volunteers can now submit their data sheets to the H-GAC Texas Stream Team Coordinator electronically.

In the datasheet, please complete data in yellow boxes, save the file to your computer with a file name designating your "Site ID" and "Date of Sample" (for example: Site17331_Dec31_2004), and e-mail file as an attachment to: stream.team@h-gac.com

Please make sure your e-mail includes a statement with your "Site ID" and "Date of Sample." Your e-mail will be used to "authenticate" the submission is your true data.

The Water Resources Information Map contains current and historical monitoring data and other information for about 450 sites monitored by volunteers and professional monitors.