USFS Phase II Kick-off

USFS CitSci Fund Phase II Talladega Field Day Participants at the Cheaha State Park Interpretive Center. Photo Credit: Mona Dominguez

In 2021, AWW’s partnership with the USDA Forest Service (USFS) CitSci Fund expanded to the Talladega National Forest! The partnership began in 2019 and, in early 2020, AWW and USFS co-hosted water quality monitoring workshops in the Bankhead, Conecuh, and Tuskegee National Forests. These three workshops resulted in 77 volunteers trained as citizen scientists, 15 active volunteer monitors, and 19 sites sampled on 10 different waterbodies. Nearly 18 months later, 250+ data records have been received. More detail about sites and workshops is published on the Project’s StoryMap.

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Overview of Variables Tested by Alabama Water Watch Volunteers

This article will provide an overview of all of the variables tested by certified Alabama Water Watch volunteer monitors, what the data mean. To know whether or not the data indicate water quality issues, it is necessary to have some understanding of Water Quality Standards, so we’ve briefly explained Water Quality Standards for Alabama. The information included could be helpful for interested volunteers who are trying to get started as monitors, people who want to learn more about water quality in their watershed, or certified volunteers who are reviewing the data at their sites.

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AWW Office COVID-19 Update

AWW Office Operations

If you need to come by our office, please call or email to make an appointment.

UPDATE – Training Opportunities

AWW is starting to offer in-person certification and recertification sessions in addition to the online and hybrid offerings that will be available soon. All in-person workshops will follow the health and safety guidelines set by Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

As soon as those opportunities are available, information will be provided on the AWW website and through email communications. If you are interested in being trained as a monitor, please complete the Workshop Interest Survey below and we will contact you when opportunities are available.

https://auburn.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_af1oUBNMF0YIfJz

Current Monitors

Please note that monitors in need of recertification have been given an extension of their certifications until they are able to attend a recertification session. They will be permitted to enter data. Options for recertification will be available in the coming weeks.

Current monitors can continue to monitor water as long as they abide by all safety guidelines and requirements. Each monitor has a unique situation related to where they monitor, and with whom they monitor. Please use the following resources to make the best decision for your situation, and don’t hesitate to contact AWW if in doubt.

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MeOWW – Renee Frachioni

On the most perfect spring day, I had the pleasure of leaving my computer screen behind to go into the field and conduct a recertification session for one of our volunteers, Renee Frachioni. We made the short drive over to Town Creek, which is one of the four sites where she does her monthly water chemistry monitoring in the Auburn area. Renee is a very methodical and careful monitor, so my job recertifying was quite easy. It gave me the chance to soak in some of the warm sunshine, to listen to the bubbling creek, and I even spotted a tiger swallowtail butterfly flutter by.

After we finished up, we sat down on a bench near the trail to her site and I took the opportunity to ask her a few “MeOWW Worthy Questions.” We are lucky in the AWW Office to be able to see Renee (and her husband Mark who usually goes with her to test on a monthly basis) when she comes to borrow a testing kit. Take a minute and get to know her!

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AWW’s Sergio Ruiz-Cordova Receives Spirit of Sustainability Award

Sergio Ruiz-Cordova is the Data Coordinator of Alabama Water Watch and a 2019 recipient of the Spirit of Sustainability Award. This award was created to honor Auburn University students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are making significant contributions toward sustainability on campus or in the community. Having dedicated his entire career to researching sustainable solutions in water quality and quantity, Sergio meets and exceeds these qualifications.

Sergio Ruiz-Cordova (center) with AU Water Resources Center Director, Dr. Puneet Srivastava (left) and AWW Program founder, Dr. Bill Deutsch (right)
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