March 03, 2015

Workshop to focus on improving waterways

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A RiverWatch Workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center in April will be a hands-on learning experience that will enable participants to become “citizen scientists.” 

The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 11 at the center, located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road. The Illinois RiverWatch Network, a volunteer stream-monitoring program, in conjunction with the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, is presenting the event. 

Everyone is welcome to attend. Participants will learn how to conduct habitat and biological surveys and to collect and identify macroinvertabrates, tiny stream organisms that serve as water quality indicators. The goal is for these “citizen scientists” to then “adopt” stream sites within their communities and collect consistent, high-quality information about the status of local streams. The program encourages people to become better stewards of waterways. 

The registration fee is $70 but 4-H members and participants of the Environmental Education Association of Illinois annual conference taking place at Touch of Nature Environmental Center April 9-11 will pay a reduced rate. The cost covers the instruction and a catered lunch. 

Educators can earn six Continuing Professional Development Units for completing the workshop. 

The registration deadline is April 3. To register, or for more information, visit or call SIU’s Continuing Education and Outreach at 618/536-7750.