Guide for Growing Volunteer Monitoring Programs

Volunteer monitoring can be a tremendous asset to water quality protection efforts*. While volunteers contribute their monitoring effort for ‘free’, these cost-effective monitoring programs require a great deal of effort and usually some expense to operate. In addition, for a progenvirostewards riverram to work well a significant amount of planning, implementation and ongoing management must occur. Fortunately there are a variety of resources available to assist in developing new programs or expanding existing programs.

Guide to Growing Programs

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring National Water Resources Project developed this “Guide for Growing Extension Volunteer Monitoring Programs” to direct you to some of those resources and help you start asking questions that you’ll need to answer in order to create an effective program that meets the needs of your community.

The Guide for Growing Extension Volunteer Monitoring Programs has been designed in a modular form, with a series of ‘chapters’ or modules that can be used alone or in conjunction with other sections depending upon the needs of your program. The purpose of this guide is bring together some of the excellent resources produced by a wide variety of monitoring programs or agencies into a comprehensive document to help support Extension-affiliated volunteer monitoring efforts. Thus you will find frequent references and links, which we update annually to a wide variety of materials from Cooperative Extension and other programs.

The modular structure was selected not only to facilitate the use of selected materials, but to also allow for easy updates. We are anxious to receive feedback, suggestions and especially leads on additional material or topics that should be included in this guide. Our goal is to highlight the excellent work of our volunteer monitoring colleagues, both those within and outside of the Extension to help develop a strong national support system for volunteer monitoring within Extension.