Community Based Benthic Monitoring Program


There are currently no training opportunities to register for. Please check back at a later date or register for our newsletter to learn about upcoming training opportunities –

Previous Training Opportunities

Community Based Benthic Monitoring Training – Summer 2021

This summer we are offering training to locals, cottagers, and post-secondary students who would like to participate in our benthic biomonitoring program. This training program will take place over the course of two modules: an online module and an in-person module. Participants will learn more about the small, spineless (and arguably charismatic) organisms that we use to help determine the health of lakes throughout the Haliburton region. The outcomes of this training will provide those in attendance with the skills and knowledge to assist Woodlands & Waterways EcoWatch in sampling for benthic macroinvertebrates within the Haliburton region. Registration for this training can be found at the bottom of this page.

Any and all questions, comments, and concerns can be directed towards Brendan Martin.

Who can sign up?

The goal of this training program is to provide interested locals, cottagers, and post-secondary students (18+) with the skills and knowledge required to assist our Trent and Fleming students with the collection, picking, and identification of benthic macroinvertebrates from Haliburton County lakes. As such we are most interested in individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Interest in working outdoors in the late summer to early fall
  • Willing to assist with benthic sampling between the dates of September 12 to October 8, 2021
  • Eager to learn about the aquatic environments of Haliburton County

We encourage all individuals to register for this training, but in the event of a full program we will prioritize those who are willing to commit to assisting us with sampling between the listed dates.

Online Session – July 11, 2021 (Zoom) 1-4pm

This module will be held using Zoom and will last approximately 3 hours. The session will focus on the reasoning behind benthic biomonitoring, the theory behind the concept,  and introduces you to our protocol with picture and video examples. The following is a sample of the topics that will be covered:

  • Background to Woodlands & EcoWatch and U-Links
  • What benthos are, what biomonitoring is, and why it’s useful
  • An overview of the protocols used for benthic sampling
  • An introduction to how we analyze our samples
  • What will happen at the in-person session and what to expect

A volunteer waiver will be distributed during the online session via email that will need to be signed prior to the in-person session in order to participate.

In-Person Session – July 18, 2021 10am-3pm

The workshop session will provide you with practical, hands-on experience and will mimic the  steps that will be taken during an actual sampling event. You will be walked through each step of  the sampling and analysis process with supervision from our Environmental Program Coordinator. This workshop session will be held at Elvin Johnson Park on Halls Lake (1221 Old Mill Rd, Algonquin Highlands, ON K0M 1J2). By the end of the session each volunteer will have the knowledge and hands-on skills required  to carry out sampling. The following topics will be covered:

  • Health and Safety
  • Introduction to field sheets
  • Equipment hands-on experience
  • Experience with sampling techniques
  • Basic benthic identification
  • Tally sheet overview
  • Practice Picking and ID

All precautions will be taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during workshop sessions. All equipment sanitizing and physical distancing protocols will be followed following everyone in attendance being screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

Upon completion of both modules, individuals will be provided with a certificate of completion and will be added to a list of volunteers who will be given opportunities to assist with our sampling efforts in the fall.